Bibliometric trends of geopolymer research in Sub-Saharan Africa

Jabulani Matsimbe, Megersa Dinka, David Olukanni, Innocent Musonda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, geopolymers have been widely utilized as a potential alternative to ordinary Portland cement (OPC) to address issues related to CO2 emissions and solid waste management. Unlike OPC, the mix design of geopolymers involves different parameters such as aluminosilicate precursors, alkaline activators, curing conditions, silica/alumina ratio, and liquid/binder ratio, to achieve satisfactory mechanical and structural properties. However, little is known about the trends and development of geopolymer research in Sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, this study aims to examine the bibliometric status quo to understand the evolution and progress of geopolymer research in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in the last 10 years. Scopus database and VOSviewer software were used for bibliometric data retrieval and network visualization. A total of 251 publications were retrieved from Scopus and showed steady growth from 2012 to 2022. It is found that the Construction and Building Materials journal (impact factor of 7.693 and h-index of 198) is the leading publication source having 41 publications and 1488 citations. The top journals in terms of average citation per publication are Ceramics International (n = 53.22), Construction and Building Materials (n = 36.29), and Cement and Concrete Composites (n = 36.2). Keywords with the highest occurrences are geopolymers, inorganic polymers, and compressive strength. Authors with the highest number of publications are Elie Kamseu (n = 56), Cyriaque Rodrigue Kaze (n = 37), and Herve Kouamo Tchakoute (n = 34) whilst those with the highest average citation per publication are Antoine Elimbi (n = 68.5), Patrick Lemougna (n = 44.36), and Uphie Chinje Melo (n = 33.4). The SSA countries with the highest number of publications are Cameroon (n = 117), Nigeria (n = 58), and South Africa (n = 44) contributing 45.45%, 22.57%, and 17.12% of the total publications, respectively. Compared to global publication trends, geopolymer research remains underexplored in SSA contributing less than 4.3% of worldwide geopolymer publications. Therefore, this bibliometric study provides insights into the scientific agenda and evolution status of geopolymer research in SSA to foster and identify future collaborative research areas and help address CO2 emissions and solid waste management concerns in the built environment which is in line with circularity and sustainable development goals number 9, 11, 12, and 13.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106082
JournalMaterials Today Communications
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Building materials
  • Concrete
  • Eco-friendly materials
  • Geopolymers
  • Green cement
  • Inorganic polymer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Materials Chemistry


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