Silico-aluminophosphate and alkali-aluminosilicate geopolymers: A comparative review

Yan Shuai Wang, Yazan Alrefaei, Jian Guo Dai

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

148 Citations (Scopus)


Chemically activated materials (often termed as geopolymer) have received attracting attentions in civil, material and environmental research fields as a toolkit alternative to traditional Portland cement in specific applications. This paper presents a comparative review on silico-aluminophosphate (SAP) geopolymers in terms of definition, chemistries involved during geopolymerization, mechanical performance, durability, environmental impacts, and their potentials in applications relative to conventional alkali-aluminosilicate (AAS) geopolymers. Recommendations for future applications are also highlighted. It is found that S-A-P gels with six-coordinated aluminum environment dominate in SAP geopolymers, while the aluminum in N-A-S-H gels formed in the AAS geopolymers is characterized by four-coordinated features. Besides, the slow performance development of SAP geopolymer matrix under ambient temperature curing can be compensated through incorporating additional countermeasures (e.g., metal sources) which allow the tailored design of such geopolymers for certain in-situ applications. Generally, the calcium-bearing C-(A)-S-H gels co-existing with N-A-S-H gels are dominant in AAS geopolymers, while the S-A-P gels enhanced by phosphate-containing crystalline/amorphous phases are the main products in SAP geopolymers. The SAP geopolymers show their environmental friendliness relative to the AAS geopolymers due to the utilization of phosphate activators that require lower production energy relative to silicate-containing activators. However, the higher cost of phosphate activators may confine the applications of SAP geopolymers in some exquisite or special fields.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106
JournalFrontiers in Materials
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019


  • Alkali-aluminosilicate
  • Environmental impacts
  • Geopolymerization mechanism
  • Silico-aluminophosphate
  • Sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


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