Friday, October 1, 2010

Announcing Name Change

October 1, 2010 Geotek Environmental announces the formation of a new company for marketing geopolymers to be called POZZILEX LABS. With the naming of the new company we are also renaming our product POZZILEX reflecting its composition more closely.

Pozzilex is essentially geopolymers, but with a reformulation that makes the product more user friendly eliminating the use of harsh chemicals used in the old formula for making geopolymer concrete and similar products.

Our goal as Pozzilex Labs is to continue the development of new lines of products making use of the Pozzilex formulation. Many of these products are aimed at the building and construction trades.

In addition we are negotiating to add some interesting products to our line:

The first product is a method of turning wood scraps into useful building products.

The second is a method of building structures with a steel frame and composite siding that can be mass produced on an assembly line at about half the cost of conventional building practices. A further advantage of this type of construction is that it is also earthquake and hurricane resistant.

For further information about these products please contact Pozzilex Labs at:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Geopolymer Presentation

Geopolymers are a rising materials technology with ancient roots that according to some sources go back for 25,000 years. This ancient technology was rediscovered in modern times just over thirty years ago by Prof. Joseph Davidovits of France. He claims that the builders of the Great Pyramid used the technology to cast the stones of the pyramid in place rather then dragging heavy stone blocks up a slippery ramp by hundreds of thousands of slaves. The rediscovery of this ancient technology has opened many doors for new high tech uses today.

High strength geopolymers can be produced from “F” type coal fly ash that exceeds 100 MPa this is a far higher compressive strength then conventional concrete. Type “F” coal fly ash is derived from burning coal that is produced in the eastern US that is rich in calcium. These coals are both anthracite and bituminous varieties.

Type “C” type coal fly ash is derived from burning the coal produced in the western US and lignite. Both ashes are low in calcium content and in order to produce a pozzolan material hydrated lime has to be introduced artificially.

We have found that the flyash produced in making expanded shale (lightweight aggregate) is more effective then coal flyash.

Geopolymers can also be produced from other pozzelanic materials such as metakaolin, powdered ceramics or glass, granulated metallurgical slag and some types of volcanic ash. Metakaolin is produced by heating kaolin clay to a temperature between 700 and 750 degrees C, and holding it that temperature for 30 minutes.

Geopolymer concrete is much stronger and denser then conventional concrete made using Portland cement. Unlike conventional concrete whose binder is an alumino-hydrated lime, the binder in geopolymers is composed of an alumino-silicate amorphous mineral making geopolymers more akin to man made granite.

Even geologists using sophisticated petrological equipment are hard pressed to distinguish geopolymers from natural stone. The instruments available usually are unable to distinguish geopolymers; the only one that can is an instrument not used in petrology. This instrument is a Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer used by chemists.

If subjected to boiling water or steam at over 100o C geopolymers will disintegrate. However, they have a much greater freeze – thaw life then conventional concrete.

Geopolymer concrete is resistant to most corrosive agents like road salt or magnesium sulfate. It will stand up to the action of acids far better then conventional concrete losing 78% of its strength when immersed in an acid bath of 10% sulfuric acid for 24 days whereas conventional concrete is totally destroyed when exposed to acids for a like period. A great deal of money could be saved using geopolymers instead of the usual concrete for building bridges and highways alone.

The resistance to road salts and other ice melting agents make geopolymers especially valuable in building highways and bridges. Under normal conditions conventional concrete has to be replaced every few years.

An analog of geopolymer concrete was laid down by the Romans over 2,000 years ago in the harbor works at Ostia that looks like it was poured yesterday. This specimen of Roman concrete has been submerged in the Mediterrean Sea since the days of Christ.

An even older example of geopolymers is found on the Great Pyramid of Egypt where it is alleged that the great blocks of stone were cast in place rather then dragged into place by thousands of slaves. This theory has caused great controversy in the world of archeology. The stones in the pyramid have been recreated using the same chemistry right down to the enclosed fossil shells. A similar geopolymer concrete was created by Davidovits from local fossiliferous limestone in France.

One of the beauties of geopolymers lies in the fact that they can almost entirely be built from recycled materials except for their activator fluids that are mostly water. The concrete made with geopolymers is handled in exactly the same way as conventional concrete except that the activator fluid has to be mixed on the jobsite as geopolymers set within a time frame from 15 minutes to one half hour.

Unlike conventional concrete that reaches full strength in about 28 days geopolymers gain their full strength in about 48 hours. You can walk on it in an hour, drive a car over it in four hours and land a 747 on it in eight hours.

Geopolymers are a “green” material made largely from recycled materials that are often discarded or landfilled. Today there are vast amounts of these materials that are stockpiled in landfills waiting to be transformed into geopolymers. In many cases these materials are landfilled at great cost to their producers. When is the last time you made concrete and didn’t have to pay for the cement? You might even be paid to haul the stuff away! How’s that for a deal?

One of the greatest problems with Portland cement besides the concrete from it doesn’t last is its carbon footprint. It has been estimated that making a ton of Portland cement produces a ton of carbon dioxide. This has been estimated to amount to the largest man-made source of carbon dioxide easily accounting for more then 12% of all carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. During a recent year it is estimated that the cement producers in the world made over 9,000,000,000 tons of cement. They also produced over 9,000,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

Prof. Joseph Davidovits of the Geopolymer Institute in St. Quentin France coined the phrase “Geopolymers” over thirty years ago for a family of alumino-silicate polymers that were formed in an alkaline environment. Since that time the technology has emerged as a new generation of inorganic polymers having many engineering applications.

One of these applications alone has a significant effect on the infrastructure because it has the ability of being a permanent patch for crumbling concrete made from Portland cement. In essence geopolymers or geosynthisis mimics the formation of natural rocks, and has their physical characteristics. They have the same building blocks as natural rocks the SiO4 and AlO4 tetrahedra allowing them to meet a wide variety of rock fabrics through cross-linking of the formula, Mn [-(Si-02)z-Al-O]n .wH2O.

Geopolymers enjoy a wide range of applications in diverse disciplines,

Civil Engineering: As a low CO2 emitter, fast setting concrete, precast concrete products and ready mixed concrete.

Building Materials: Such items as bricks, tiles, pavers, acoustic and fireproof panels and pipes.

Archeology: Repairing and the restoration of archeological monuments.

Composite Materials: Tooling for the aerospace industry, composites for structural purposes, carbon fiber composite materials. Virtually anything organic or inorganic can be embedded in a geopolymer matrix.

Refractory Applications: Moulds for casting of aerospace metals, as a refractory adhesive.

Recycling Industrial Waste: Fly ash, slag from smelters, mine tailings, volcanic ash.

Environmental Uses: Encapsulation of domestic, hazardous and radioactive waste.

Other: Adhesives, paint

Geopolymers are not meant to replace most modern construction practices, but rather supplement them with a far superior material when applicable. They also enjoy the capability of being able to be made of almost 100% waste products.


Geopolymers and Roman Cement, John Carter,

Geopolymers – Aiding the Pursuit of Sustainability in Minerals Sector (and Beyond)

Hydration Process of Potassium Polysialite (K-PSDS) Geopolymer Cement, Y. S. Yang, W. Sun, Z. J. Li,

Mine slimes and tailings stabilized using geopolymers

A serious problem in the mining industry is the production of mine slimes from various refining processes. These slimes can be encapsulated permanently using the geopolymer process. At the present most of these slimes are stored in ponds or lagoons that can break releasing the slimes into the environment. Once treated with geopolymers the encapsulated slimes can be used as building materials replacing concrete, or stored in worked out portions of the mine.

Mine slimes are produced as part of the ore beneficiation process when the raw ore is placed in a large ball mill with large steel or ceramic balls that reduce the ore to a powder as fine as flour. The ground up ore is transferred to a flotation tank full of water and a flotation agent that is similar to dish washing liquid. Compressed air is forced up through the ore causing foam in the flotation tank. Most metals are in the form of sulfides that stick to the resulting bubbles. The barren ore remains in the bottom of the tank the foam is periodically scraped from the top of the tank with the sulfide minerals going to the smelter. The barren ore remains behind in the bottom of the flotation cell.

After each cycle of the flotation cell the barren ore is removed as mine slime consisting of silt sized particles that are transferred to a holding pond for storage. There are times when the pond holding the slime overflows especially during floods releasing the slime to cause extensive property and environmental damage.

It’s cousin coal fly ash resulting from burning coal in generating plants. This waste is stored in a similar way in a pond or other holding area. Recently a storage pond holding coal fly ash broke loose in Kingston, Tennessee causing tremendous damage to both the environment and the surrounding property.

Using the geopolymer process it is possible to encapsulate mine slimes and tailings into useable building materials in a cost effective way. The encapsulating process makes use of practically all waste products like mine wastes and coal fly ash, or wood ash in a way that in isolated mining sites the resulting material can be used locally for building purposes.

Geopolymers can be cast into any number of shapes to address the construction needs of a mine like bricks or building blocks. It also can make Jersey barriers or large concrete blocks that are used in many mining camps for mineral storage bins.


Geopolymers and Roman Concrete, John Carter,

Geopolymers, Man Made Rocks, John Carter,

Geopolymers, Joseph Davidovits,

Friday, April 16, 2010

Licensing Geopolymer Process

Winsted, CT April 15, 2010; Geotek Environmental announces that it is going to license its process for making geopolymers. Unlike concrete our process uses no Portland cement greatly lowering its carbon footprint. It can be made for the most part from recycled materials that normally are landfilled. The geopolymer process is capable of using virtually any material, organic or inorganic embedded in the geopolymer matrix to meet special challanges.

Different users of geopolymers may require different formulations of the process tailored to their particular needs, this will be included as a condition of the licensing process. The license will contain not only the basic formula for geopolymers, but we will use our lab to create a custom mixture specific to your needs.

A Geopolymer is a special mix of materials specifically designed to create a product that can be used just like concrete, using the same equipment and processes.
Unlike normal concrete, Geopolymers do not contain Portland cement.

Geopolymers when set are actually more like granite then concrete because the bond is based upon silicon and aluminum oxides rather than on hydrated lime as it is in concrete containing Portland cement. A geologist examining the results of a set Geopolymer “stone” or product would be hard pressed to distinguish it from natural stone.

Geopolymers can be used to facilitate the constructive environmentally safe use of waste materials normally stockpiled , discarded or landfilled so they are quickly converted into economical, innovative and usable products. Some examples may be made of fly ash, cinder, rock dust, crushed brick and similar materials.

In actual use, Geopolymers are handled using the same methods as wet concrete, but Geopolymers set much faster and reach full strength in one day unlike conventional concrete that takes about two weeks to develop full strength. This feature will allow you to turn product lines around faster. Your products can be shipped more quickly and be used sooner.

In most uses a geopolymer sets fast enough so that you can walk on it in an hour, drive a car on it in four hours or land a 747 on it in eight hours.

Geopolymers are also much more durable than concrete. There are examples of geopolymers lasting for thousands of years, dating to the time of building of the pyramids of ancient Egypt.

In use Geopolymers are less expensive to make then conventional concrete, so not only are you improving your product, but a product made from Geopolymers will save you money.

For further information please contact us at

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Drilling a Hole in Stone with Fruit and Vegetable Juice

At first glance the idea of drilling a hole in stone with fruit or vegetable juices may sound completely insane, but from archeological evidence it is possible that our ancestors knew this secret for the past 25,000 years. Man has always been curious about ways of doing different kinds of jobs the easy way; this is one of them.

It is not known who came up with this method of making holes in stone, but it appears that some Witchdoctor who was familiar with making potions from different extracts he made from plants discovered the process. One of the advantages of using the process is that it leaves a smooth hole through a stone. Conventional drilling leaves ridges on the sides of the drillhole.

The naturally occurring acids used are citric and oxalic acids that are made from plant sources. The citric acid is found in lemon juice. The oxalic acid is found abundantly in the leaves of the rhubarb plant. Citric acid is procured by squeezing the juice out of a lemon. Oxalic acid is leached from macerated rhubarb leaves in water. Both of these acids are dilute and have to be concentrated by boiling off some of the excess water to make a stronger acid.

To use these acids for drilling through rock they are dripped into a shallow depression that is created in the rock so it is filled with the mixture of these two acids. This is important because the products of oxalic acid are insoluble. The citric acid products are soluble and will keep the products of the oxalic acid in suspension. They are left in the depression until they stop reacting with the rock, then any sludge in the hole is removed with a spatula. (A stick is just as effective.)

The process is repeated until the hole is as deep as it should be, or it reaches the other side of the stone. A test of this technique on marble resulted in a hole that was 7.5 cm within 15 minutes. When the process is complete the stone should be rinsed with plain water to stop any further reactions.

For more information about this process go to This is described in the section of downloadable papers under archeology.

Friday, February 19, 2010

How the Romans made Cement

One of the oldest professions in the world is that of a lime burner, he converted limestone by fire into a product called “quicklime” that would react vigorously with water to make a new product called “hydrated lime” that makes a slurry used to coat rammed earth walls to protect them from the weather.

Rammed earth construction has been used in arid regions since the beginning of time, and is probably one of the oldest construction techniques used in the world. It is still in use in many parts of the world including the Southwestern United States and throughout the Middle East. It was from the early use of hydrated lime that the early use of primitive concrete grew.

Although the technique was well known in the Mid-East it wasn't until the days of the Romans that it was perfected. The development of Roman Concrete no doubt came about by chance. In Italy there are several areas that are volcanic that are covered by volcanic ash. This ash to the naked eye looks like sand, in fact the Romans called it “pit sand.”

The ash in fact has several unique properties, one of them is the ability to combine with hydrated lime to form a cement that is capable of setting underwater. The Romans took advantage of this to build harbor works at the town of Pozzuoli a Roman harbor just north of present day Naples. It was from the volcanic ash found near this town that the Romans made the discovery of their concrete when they mixed hydrated lime with the ash.

It is probable that this discovery was made by accident because the ash found at Pozzuoli looked like sand. At the time the Romans knew when you mixed hydrated lime with sand you produced a plaster that was used to plaster walls. The mixture they made turned hard, and would even harden under water.

They called this pozzolan in reality it contained amorphous silica that reacted with the hydrated lime to make a new kind of cement. It was with this cement that the Romans were able to produce some of their greatest architectural works.

The real secret was in the pozzolan material itself, this was an alumino-silicate rock that had been subjected to the high heat of an exploding volcano. Other pozzolan materials are man made including ceramics, glass, slag, fly ash and silica fume. They can all be mixed with hydrated lime to produce a superior cement like the Romans used.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Geopolymers and Roman Concrete are Two Ancient Technologies that have been Rediscovered

Geopolymers and Roman Concrete are two ancient technologies that have been rediscovered in recent times. Roman Concrete is something that has lasted for over two thousand years ever since the time when Jesus Christ walked the earth. Geopolymers have been around even longer since it is claimed the Ancient Egyptians used the technology to cast the stones used to build the Pyramids. Both civilizations had the materials and the skills to use either technology.

These technologies share some common materials, and practices, but widely differ in the materials they use. Roman Cement and Concrete are actually derived from the ancient practice of whitewashing rammed earth structures to protect them from the rain. The hydrated lime in the whitewash combined with the materials found in the rammed earth wall. The Egyptian invention depended on their use of Natron, sodium carbonate to preserve their dead.

Roman Concrete structures have lasted for over 2,000 years whereas modern concrete structures are falling apart in as little as 50 years. What is the difference between the two concretes, and why has the Roman concrete lasted so long? Chemically their compositions are quite similar yet they are so different in quality. Once again we have to ask why?

To make cement the Romans combined two simple ingredients; hydrated lime that was made by burning lime leaving behind calcium oxide or quicklime that has been slacked in water. To this they added volcanic ash of which they had in plenty. Red ash came from near Rome, and a more yellowish/gray ash came from near Naples.

If you mix there two ingredients together with additional aggregate you form concrete. The Romans didn’t have cement mixers like we do today, but they knew how to mix their concrete in mortar tubs.

The concrete was mixed using very little water so it was delivered to the jobsite as a non-slumping concrete that was rammed in place using several different tools to assure that all the spaces in the concrete were filled in, and the concrete was compacted. This technique left no open spaces in their concrete that allowed it to be penetrated by water or salt.

Geopolymers are another matter and here they deviate from Roman Cement in their choice of materials. The active ingredient in Geopolymers was sodium silicate that can be made from natron by heating it to drive off the carbon dioxide leaving behind sodium oxide that if it is added to water forms a solution of sodium hydroxide and gives off a lot of heat. By adding quartz sand to this solution the sand is dissolved by the sodium hydroxide leaving a solution of sodium silicate.

If you add finely ground alumino-silicate minerals like those found in granite you wind up with a superior material with cement like characteristics. You can use volcanic ash as well to form Geopolymers. If you fill the Geopolymer with a suitable aggregate filler it will set like regular concrete.

Both of these materials use a special material that is called pozzelanic that is an alumino-silicate that has been affected by high heat. One example of this is volcanic ash, but other pozzelanic materials are found in finely ground glass or ceramics including bricks.