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EconoMISER Scales Up Geopolymer Capabilities

A range of key workstreams have been identified by the Foundation Industries Sustainability Consortium (FISC), of which Lucideon is a member, as particularly high-impact areas of research for FISC partners. Lucideon is taking the lead in several of these workstreams, including geopolymer scale-up

FISC brings together global leaders in innovation, research, and technology from across the cement, metal, glass, ceramic, paper, polymer, and chemical industries to deliver global innovation in low-carbon resource-efficient sustainable solutions.

Geopolymer Scale-up


Lucideon’s geopolymer capabilities, which fall under the MIDAR® technology umbrella, include ten years of development for industrial applications, from construction products to our MALLET™ waste encapsulation technique.

A key output of the geopolymer scale-up workstream is the establishment of a dedicated geopolymer facility, designed from the ground up to house a comprehensive selection of formulation and scale-up equipment, that brings a new level of scalability and consistency to geopolymer ceramic development.

The equipment purchasing and building of this facility is proceeding under FISC’s first project, “Economic Materials Innovation for the Sustainable and Efficient Use of Resources” (EconoMISER). EconoMISER is funded by Innovate UK as part of the Transformation Foundation Industries (TFI) Challenge and is intended to build on existing innovation capability of the partners.

The new facilities will expand UK capabilities in geopolymer formulation for various forms and functions, accelerate scale-up from laboratory to demonstration level, and ease the burden of achieving acceptable criteria and standards through improved characterisation capabilities for product properties and durability.

The equipment selected for acquisition improves batch capacity up to 1,000 litres, meaning that the facility is able to prepare cements at 5 litre lab scale for initial evaluation, at 50 litre first stage scale-up for practical demonstration in applications, all the way to the full 1,000 litre commercial scale-up.

A range of mixing methods are being supported, including planetary mixing, acoustic mixing, forced action mixing, and paddle mixing, alongside a full range of supporting kit to deal with the weighing, handling, cleaning, and chemical storage processes.

The scale-up work is underpinned by a comprehensive suite of testing and characterisation capabilities. Powders and precursors are served with chemical analysis from the Lucideon test labs, and further supported with particle size and shape measurement alongside thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) from The AMRICC Centre, the co-located scale-up hub that Lucideon hosts at its site in Stone.

Slurries can be assessed by rheology, pH, temperature changes, and total dissolved solids. Cements can be measured by slumping, setting, shrinkage, strength, macro and microstructure, and thermal conductivity; compatibility and aging is covered with analysis of chloride diffusion, resistivity, leach testing, and strength changes.

EconoMISER has already made a tangible improvement to the geopolymer capabilities available to businesses looking to carry out commercialisation and scale-up activities. With other projects ongoing, FISC looks to be making a real difference to the future of the foundation industries in the UK and beyond.


May 2024