Article ID: ISIJINT-2018-516
As an environmentally hazardous waste, silica fume was considered as a potential alternative for cement and SiO2 production. The structure of Si–O was highly relevant to the reactivity of Si conversion for efficient utilization. In this study, the characteristic and chemical structure of Si–O in silica fume were characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR). Deconvolution of XPS and FTIR spectra into elementary profiles was carried out to analyze the structural components. As a result, the valence state, bonding structure and elementary unit in the Si–O network of silica fume were determined. Then, the reactivity silica fume with alkali solution was studied involving the effects of NaOH concentration and temperature. The staged kinetics behavior was associated with the structure of Si–O bonds, and the activation energies were determined. The results thus provided fundamental information for the utilization of silica fume for SiO2 production and geopolymer.