Synthesis and Characterization of Silicate Gel by using Sol-gel Process: Experiments and DFT calculations
AbstractThe synthesis of geopolymers requires the formation of an irreversible gel. This gel is produced by the sol-gel process using sodium silicate and hydrochloric acid reagents. On the one hand, the experimental study of the gelling reaction shows that for concentrations of hydrochloric acid varying between 0.5-2.0 mol/L and concentration of sodium silicate varying between 1.0-6.0 mol/L, three reaction products are obtained. The first product is a clear solution, the second product is a reversible gel, and the last product is an irreversible gel. The products obtained are characterized by SEM, X-Ray Diffraction, FTIR spectroscopy and EDS Spectroscopy techniques. The microstructural analyzes of the two gels revealed that these obtained solids are almost similar whereas the structural and elementary analyzes show that the silica content in the irreversible gel is higher than the silica content in the reversible gel. On the other hand, the theoretical study of the reactivity of gelling, defined via the conceptual density functional theory (CDFT) combined with functional B3LYP function with a 6-31G base (d). They are allowed us to define the global and local reactivity indexes of two reagents, sodium silicate and hydrochloric acid.
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