The challenge for the civil engineering community in the near future will be to realize structures in harmony with the concept of sustainable development, through the use of high performance materials of low environmental impact that are produced at reasonable cost. Geopolymer materials could provide a route towards this objective. The main benefit of geopolymer cement is their reduction in environmental impact as they use lesser amounts of calcium-based raw materials, have lower manufacturing temperature and use lower amounts of fuel, resulting in reduced carbon dioxide emissions for geopolymer cement manufacture by up to 80%-90%, in comparison with Portland cement. It is possible to use alkali-activated natural pozzolans to synthesize environmentally friendly and sound cementitious construction materials. This paper presents preliminary results of geopolymer using an activated Iranian natural pozzolan, namely Taftan. The formation of gel phase and the factors affecting this have been investigated using leaching tests, ICP-AES, FTIR, XRD and mechanical tests.
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