ABOUT THE PROJECT
New possibilities for the recycling of inorganic wastes or industrial residues are investigated in order to avoid the disposal of waste materials in landfills. Especially, aluminate- and silicate-containing materials can be utilized in alkali activation technology; when treated with an alkaline activator solution these precursors form a solid material at room temperature which could be used to replace concrete, ceramic and some other industrial materials. Additionally, significant environmental advantages are achievable by replacing the production of these energy-intensive materials by more sustainable processes.
The main objective of this project is to develop new lightweight alkali activated foams based on secondary raw materials (e.g. fly ash, slags). To obtain highly porous structures, properly selected foaming agents and foam stabilizing agents need to be included in the basic compositions. Currently, the main disadvantage of such lightweight materials is their high fragility. Addition of fibers will be used to overcome this drawback and help to produce materials with more elastic nature. By incorporating organic fibers from a bio-based renewable source, and simultaneously using inorganic secondary resources as raw materials for alkali activated foams, a high performance in terms of energy efficiency and environmental impact will be reached. The developed materials will have applications in wide range of thermal and acoustic insulating products.
The project will be performed by institutions already highly experienced in the field of alkali activation technology (Slovenian national Building and Civil Engineering Institute, Fiber and Particle Engineering Unit at University of Oulu, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia). Complementary knowledge possessed by the project partners guarantee the successful execution of the project. In addition to research partners, several industrial companies will participate in the project as potential exploitation partners.