Effect of Sodium Hydroxide and Mould Shape in Geopolymer Fabrication Made With Synthesised Local Clay for Water Filtration


  • N. Bolong Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Jalan UMS, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
  • I. Saad Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Jalan UMS, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
  • S. E. Arshad Faculty of Science and Natural Resources, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Jalan UMS, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia




The preparation and testing of geopolymer ceramic membranes for water separation is presented. Geopolymers are typically used in refractories and as precursors to ceramic formation, allowing the production of ceramic-like materials with low temperature processes. A new geopolymer material was synthesized using local clay from Sabah, Malaysia and its filtration performance was compared to a commercial clay fabrication. The synthesized formulation of geopolymer ceramic paste was made by mixing local metakaolin clay as a source of aluminosilicate with alkaline solution, and then curing in a sealed environment. The amorphous paste was crushed and moulded prior to firing at an elevated temperature up to 700ï‚°C. The feasibility of this laboratory-fabricated geopolymer for water filtration applications was studied by evaluating its performance at different thicknesses and mould shapes of fabricated membrane using 8 to 16 Molar natrium hydroxide (NaOH) as the alkali activator in the synthesis of the geopolymer. The result found that increased molarity of sodium hydroxide results higher compressive strength and affect filtration rate. Improved filtration performance (subject to the shape and width of the geopolymer membrane) was found by analysis and separation rates of 47% for blue dye colour and 88% for turbidity were achieved when operated without pressure or pump.


Mulder M. 2002. Basic Principles of Membrane Technology. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

Bolong, N., Ismail A. F., Salim M. R., D. Rana and T. Matsuura. 2009. Development and Characterization of Novel Charged Surface Modification Macromolecule to Polyethersulfone Hollow Fiber Membrane with Polyvinylpyrrolidone and Water. J. Membrane Science. 331: 40.

Muhammad, N., Sinha, R., Krishnan, E. R., & Patterson, C. L. 2009. Ceramic Filter for Small System Drinking Water Treatment : Evaluation of Membrane Pore Size and Importance of Integrity Monitoring. Journal of Environmental Engineering. 135: 1181–1191.

Khanndarith, S. 2010. Pilot Scale Study on Surface Water Treatment using Hybrid Ceramic Membrane Filtration System, Masters of Engineering (MEng) Thesis. School of Environment, Resources and Development, Asian Institute of Technology.

Sondhi R. Bhave R., Jung G. 2003. Application and Benefits of Ceramic Membranes. Membrane Technology. 3.

Alventosa-deLara, E., Barredo-Damas, S., Alcaina-Miranda, M I., Iborra-Clar M. I. 2012. Ultrafiltration Technology With A Ceramic Membrane For Reactive Dye Removal: Optimization Of Membrane Performance. Journal Of Hazardous Materials. 209: 492–500.

Hög A., J. Ludwig, M. Beery. 2015. The Use Of Integrated Flotation And Ceramic Membrane Filtration For Surface Water Treatment With High Loads Of Suspended And Dissolved Organic Matter. Journal of Water Process Engineering. 6: 129–135.

Rangan, B. V. 2008. Fly Ash-Based Geopolymer Concrete. Your Building:Library. Retrieved 5 February 2015, from http://www.yourbuilding.org.

Bell, J. L., Driemeyer, P. E., Kriven, W. M. 2009. Formation Of Ceramics From Metakaolin-Based Geopolymers. Part I: Cs-Based Geopolymer. Journal of American Ceramic Society. 92: 607–615.

Davidovits, J. 1991. Geopolymers: Inorganic Polymeric New Materials. Journal of Thermal Analysis. 37: 1633–1656.

Provis J. L and Van Deventer J. S. 2009. Geopolymers Structure, Processing, Properties And Industrial Applications. CRC Press, ISBN 978-1-4398-0970-9, United Kingdom.

Duxson, P., Provis, J. L., Lukey, G. C., Mallicoat, S. W., Kriven, W. M., van Daventer, J. S. J. 2005. Understanding The Relationship Between Geopolymer Composititon, Microstructure And Mechanical Propertis. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochem. Eng. 269: 47–58.

Landi, E., Medri, V., Papa, E., Dedecek, J., Klein, P., Benito, P., Vaccari, A. 2013. Alkali-bonded Ceramics With Hierarchical Tailored Porosity. Applied Clay Science. 73: 56–64.

Kuenzel, C., Neville, T. P., Donatello, S., Vandeperre, L., Boccaccini, A. R., Cheeseman, C. R. 2013. Influence Of Metakaolin Characteristics On The Mechanical Properties Of Geopolymers. Applied Clay Science. 83–84: 308–314.

Heah, C.Y., Kamarudin, H., Mustafa, A.M., Bnhussain, M., Luqman, M., Khairul, I., Ruzaidi, C. M., & Liew, Y. M. 2012. Study On Solids-To-Liquid And Alkaline Activator Ratios On Kaolin-Based Geopolymers. Construction and Building Materials. 35: 912–922.

Elimbi, A., Tchakoute, H. K. & Njopwouo, D. 2011. Effects Of Calcinations Temperature Of Kaolinite Clays On The Properties Of Geopolymer Cements. Construction and Building Materials. 25: 2805–2812.

Rovnanik, P. 2009. Effect Of Curing Temperature On The Development Of Hard Structure Of Metakaoli-Based Geopolymer. Construction and Building Materials. 24: 1176–1183.

Sharvman, A., Kovlar, K., Grader, G. S., Shter, G. E. 2002. The Effect Of Dihydroxylation/Amorphization Degree On Pozzolanic Activity Of Kaolinite. Cemant and Cocrete Research. 33: 1399–1404.

Paul, J. U. 2012. Proses Geopolymer Seramik Nanokomposit Berasaskan Karbon Nanofiber. Bachelor Of Science (Hons) Thesis. School of Science and Technology, Industrial Chemical Program, Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

Wang H, Haihong, Li., Fengyuan, Yan. 2005. Synthesis And Mechanical Properties Of Metakaolinite-Based Geopolymer. Colloids And Surfaces A. Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects. 268: 1–6.

Biesheuvel P. M., Verweij H. 1999. Design Of Ceramic Membrane Supports: Permeability, Tensile Strength And Stress. Journal of Membrane Science. 156: 141-152.

Lakrets, A., Elifanz, H., Kviatkovski, I., Eshel, G., Mamane, H. 2014. Automatic Microfiber Filtration (AMF) Of Surface Water: Impact On Water Quality And Biofouling Evolution. Water Research. 48: 592–604.




How to Cite

Bolong, N., Saad, I., & Arshad, S. E. (2017). Effect of Sodium Hydroxide and Mould Shape in Geopolymer Fabrication Made With Synthesised Local Clay for Water Filtration. Journal of Applied Membrane Science &Amp; Technology, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.11113/amst.v18i1.16