Ispectrum Magazine Ispectrum Magazine #06 - Page 49

Professor Joseph Davidovits is famous for his pioneering work on geopolymers. He is an internationally renowned French Materials Scientist and Archeologist, who was honored by French President Jacques Chirac with one of France’s two highest awards, the “Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite”, in November 1998. Davidovits has a French Degree in Chemical Engineering and a German Doctorate Degree (PhD) in Chemistry, is professor and founder of the Institute for Applied Archaeological Sciences in Barry University, Miami, Florida (19831989), Visiting Professor in Penn State University, Pennsylvania (1989-1991) and Profess or and Director of the Geopolymer Institute, Saint-Quentin, France (1979-present). He is a world expert in modern and ancient cements, as well as in geosynthesis and manmade rocks, and the inventor of geopolymers and the chemistry of geopolymerization. He has authored/ co-authored more than 130 scientific papers and conference reports, holds more than 50 patents and has written the first reference book on geopolymer science, “Geopolymer Chemistry and Applications”. What is a Geopolymer? A geopolymer is a sustainable alternative to conventional Portland cement, having lower carbon dioxide emissions during manufacture, greater chemical and thermal resistance, and better mechanical properties both at ambient and extreme conditions. Metakaolin is commonly used as a starting material for the laboratory synthesis of geopolymers and is generated by thermal activation of kaolinite clay. Geopolymers can also be made from other sources of pozzolanic materials, such as volcanic ash, fly ash, slag, pumicite etc. Geopolymerization is a multi-step process and the final product is an inorganic polymer network of highly-coordinated three-dimensional aluminosilicate gel. 48