Product and Process Engineering - Delft University of Technology

Henk W. Nugteren

Henk Nugteren

Conversion of industrial residues into profitable and sustainable products

Contact details

  • Dr. Henk W. Nugteren
  • Delft University of Technology, TNW-PPE
  • Room F2.430
  • van der Maasweg, 9, 2629 HZ, Delft, The Netherlands
  • Phone: +31-(0)15-2784376

Research interests

  • Fly ash and novel applications
  • Geopolymers
  • Environmental geochemistry
  • Geochemical engineering
  • Secondary industrial minerals

Latest publications

  • Accelerating Natural Co2 Mineralization in a Fluidized Bed, Rajat Bhardwaj, J. Ruud van Ommen, Henk W. Nugteren, and Hans Geerlings. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 2016, 55  (11), 2946–2951.
    [Full Details]     [BibTeX]     Publisher: [DOI] 
  • Geopolymerisation of Fly Ashes With Waste Aluminium Anodising Etching Solutions, M. B. Ogundiran, H. W. Nugteren, and G. J. Witkamp. Journal of Environmental Management 2016, 181 , 118–123.
    [Full Details]     [BibTeX]     Publisher: [DOI] 
  • External Sulfate Attack in Dam Concretes With Thaumasite Formation, S. Chinchon-Paya, A. Aguado, H. W. Nugteren, and S. Chinchon. Materiales De Construccion 2015, 65  (317), e042.
    [Full Details]     [BibTeX]     Publisher: [DOI] 
  • Geopolymer Coating of Bacteria-Containing Granules for Use in Self-Healing Concrete, S. A. L. de Koster, R. M. Mors, H. W. Nugteren, H. M. Jonkers, G. M. H. Meesters, and J. R. van Ommen. In New Paradigm of Particle Science and Technology, Proceedings of the 7th World Congress on Particle Technology, pp. 475–484, 2015.
    [Full Details]     [BibTeX]     Publisher: [DOI] 
  • Immobilisation of Lead Smelting Slag Within Spent Aluminate-Fly Ash Based Geopolymers, M. B. Ogundiran, H. W. Nugteren, and G. J. Witkamp. Journal of Hazardous Materials 2013, 248 , 29–36.
    [Full Details]     [BibTeX]     Publisher: [DOI] 


  • MSc Geology and Geochemistry, Free University of Amsterdam, 1978
  • PhD Chemical Engineering, Delft University of Technology, 2011


  • 2004- Sustainable Development and Natural Cycles, BSc
  • 2005- Sustainable Design, MSc, IE
  • 2006- Process Systems Design, MSc

Research description

After mineral exploration projects in Cameroon and Colombia (United Nations, 1979-1984), the United Arab Emirates (1984-1985) and Zambia (cooperation project between UNZA and DUT, 1986-1994), returned to the Netherlands (DelftChemTech), where main interest was on Environmental Geochemistry and Geochemical Engineering in general and coal combustion fly ashes in particular. Technical and environmental quality improvement and development of novel applications for these residues are the main focus of research activities. Conversion of ash into useful minerals such as zeolites and synthesis of geopolymers from fly ash, are key examples of this approach. But also the synthesis of secondary industrial minerals, such as zeolites, hydrotalcite, ettringite and dawsonite from waste industrial waste solutions form good examples.

SEM of fly ash (left) and Zeolite of fly ash (right)

Coal fly ash is the most important by-product of electricity production in coal-fired power stations. It consists of the non-combustible matter in coal and is separated from the flue gasses as fine powder. In the Netherlands around a million tonnes of fly ash is produced each year. Traditionally, fly ash is being applied in cement and concrete industry, but the material has favourable properties for more valuable applications, such as the conversion into zeolites and geopolymers. Geopolymers are amorphous inorganic polymers with a chemical composition similar to that of zeolites. The building stones are Si-Al-chains that form by alkaline activation of silica and alumina containing materials at low temperature. Fly ash generally has high contents of SiO2 and Al2O3 and is an important precursor for the synthesis of geopolymers. Geopolymers are fast setting binders developing high strength up to 120 MPa. They have the potential to replace ordinary Portland cement in construction materials, as a low CO2 cement for a sustainable future.

. © Delft University of Technology - PPE group 2015