The Suitability of Chemically and Thermally Activated Quaternary Clays of Latvia as Raw Material for Geopolymer Binders


  • Ingunda Sperberga in Riga Technical University
  • Andris Cimmers Senior researcher in Riga Technical University
  • Maris Rundans Master's level student in Riga technical University
  • Dainida Ulme Master's level student in Riga Technical University
  • Linda Krage in Riga Technical University
  • Inese Sidraba Researcher in University of Latvia



alkaline activation, inorganic polymers, mechanical strength, Quaternary clays of Latvia


It is now accepted that new binders are needed to replace Portland cement (PC) for enhanced environmental and durability performance. The urge to reduce emissions of carbon and the fact that PC structures having built a few decades ago are already facing disintegration problems points out the handicaps of PC binders. Research works carried out in developing of alkali-activated binders show that this new type of  binder could have a huge potential to become as alternative building material. Latvian Quaternary clays were studied from the point of view of the national economy, analysing the physical properties and chemical composition of those sediments in connection with the possibilities of their utilisation in the manufacture of geopolymer materials. Quaternary clay minerals dominate by illite with admixture of chlorite. Quaternary clay typically is rich in fine, scattered carbonates. The aim of this study was to synthesize geopolymer  product from illite clays of Latvia under alkaline activation. Results of the investigations showed the influence of alkalies on the transformation of clay/illite structure by curing of activated clays at different temperatures for various time. Obtained results showed that illite-based clays of Latvia could play a role of the raw material for production of geopolymer binders.