Rui Miguel Novais

Assistant Professor

Short CV

Rui Novais is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Materials and Ceramic Engineering and CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials at University of Aveiro (UA).

He obtained his PhD in Polymer Science and Composites, in 2012 from the University of Minho; “Functionalized carbon nanotubes for polymer based nanocomposites”. Between 2012 and 2018 we had a postdoc position at UA working in the development of: - ceramic tiles for improving energy efficiency in buildings; - ceramic cookware compatible with induction cooking; - novel lightweight geopolymers for environmental remediation; - solar thermochemical production of hydrogen based on cork ecoceramics.

In September 2018 he was awarded a Junior researcher grant by FCT (Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology) to develop with performance geopolymers for environmental remediation applications. Ranked 1/125 Environ Biotech Eng panel; 9/2227 in all panels; Final Score 9.9/10 (CEEC 2017).

In October 2020 he was awarded an Assistant Researcher grant by FCT. Ranked 3/59 Environ Biotech Eng panel; 28/1399 in all panels; Final Score 9.53/10 (CEEC 2019).

He has expertise in chemistry, physics, polymer and materials science, on the development and characterisation of low thermal conductivity materials (traditional ceramics and geopolymer-foams); on PCM-containing building materials for improving buildings thermal performance; wastes valorisation, synthesis of ecoceramics for energy production, and activated carbons.

He has published 83 papers, 66 of which are in JCR SCI journals, 53 in the top quartile (Q1), and 41 are in the top 10% of their areas. He is also the first author of a book chapter on lightweight inorganic polymers and the first author of a review paper on geopolymer foams published in Progress in Materials Science (IF = 31.560). He has >1850 citations, and a h-index of 26 (Scopus). The AVERAGE JOURNAL IF (of the 66 SCI papers) is 7.6.

Rui Novais participated in 10 R&D projects (4 in cooperation with industry).

He is currently the PI of two projects:

i) European project – SMART G, under the call ERA-MIN 2019, started on Dez 01, 2020. Aims to produce lightweight, fire resistant geopolymers for the construction industry.

ii) FCT R&D project – MAXIMUM, started on March 01, 2021. Aims to produce novel, red mud-based inorganic polymer sorbents for acid mine drainage treatment.

His work on red mud-based inorganic polymer spheres was selected as the cover image of Materials Today (IF 26.416), Vol. 23, March 2019; his work on cork-templated ecoceramics also on the cover of Materials Today Vol. 20, Issue 1, 2017. He has presented 40 oral communications and 33 posters in International Conferences, plus 3 oral and 11 posters in National Seminars. He gave an INVITED PLENARY at International Conference CBECIMAT 2016 (22nd Brazilian Conference on Materials Science and Engineering, November 6-10, 2016, Natal, Brazil) and will give an INVITED lecture in CIMTEC 2022 (June, Montecatini, Italy) regarding his work on geopolymer foams. His work has been highlighted several times in National TVs (RTP1, TVI, Porto Canal), radios (RDP Internacional, TSF, Antena 1) and newspapers (Jornal de Negócios, Público, Diário de Notícias). Review Editor for Frontiers in Materials since February 2020.

Cover images of Scientific journals


Scientific Interests

Geopolymers, inorganic polymers & alkali-activated materials

Porous ceramics


Natural materials




  1. Nouairi J, Medhioub M, Senff L, Hajjaji W, Rocha F, Novais RM, Buruberri L, Labrincha JA, 2015. Mining tailing reuse in sulfobelitic clinker formulations, Chapter 31, pp. 183-188. In: Vilarinho C, Castro F, Russo M. Wastes: Solutions, Treatments and Opportunities - Selected Papers from the 3rd Edition of the International Conference on Wastes: Solutions, Treatments and Opportunities, Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN: 978-1-138-02882-1.
  2. Novais RM and Labrincha JA. Lightweight inorganic polymers: going beyond conventional applications. In: Jordán MM, Pinet O, Rincón JMa (Eds.), VITROGEOWASTES. Extension TC05 (ICG). Vitrification and geopolymerization of wastes for immobilization or recycling. University Miguel Hernández (UMH), Alicante, Spain, 2019. ISBN: 978-84-16024-78-0, Chapter 8 (2019), p. 239-257.

JCR articles 

  1. Paiva MC, Novais RM, Araújo RF, Pederson, KK, Proença MF, Silva CJR, Costa CM, Lanceros-Méndez S. Organic functionalization of carbon nanofibers for composite applications. Polymer Composites 2010, 31, 369–376. DOI: 0.1002/pc.20813.
  2. Paiva MC, Xu W, Proença MF, Novais RM, Lægsgaard E, Besenbacher F. Unzipping of functionalized multiwall carbon nanotubes induced by STM. Nano Lett. 2010, 10, 1764–1768. DOI: 10.1021/nn1022523.
  3. Paiva MC, Simon F, Novais R, Ferreira T, Proença M, Xu W, Besenbacher F. Controlled functionalization of carbon nanotubes by a solvent-free multicomponent approach. ASC Nano 2010, 4 (12), 7379-7386. DOI: 10.1021/nl100240n.
  4. Novais RM, Covas JA, Paiva MC. The effects of flow type and chemical functionalization on the dispersion of carbon nanofiber agglomerates in polypropylene. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing 2012, 43, 833-841. DOI: 10.1016/j.compositesa.2012.01.017.
  5. Novais RM, Simon F, Paiva MC, Covas JA. The influence of carbon nanotube functionalization route on the efficiency of dispersion in polypropylene by twin-screw extrusion. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing 2012, 43, 12, 2189-2198. DOI: 10.1016/j.compositesa.2012.08.004.
  6. Novais RM, Simon F, Pӧtschke P, Covas JA, Paiva MC. Poly(lactic acid) composites with poly(lactic acid)-modified carbon nanotubes. Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry 2013, 51, 17, 3740-3750. DOI: 10.1002/pola.26778.
  7. Novais RM, Seabra P, Labrincha JA. Ceramic tiles with controlled porosity and low thermal conductivity by using pore forming agents. Ceramics International 2014, 40, 8, 11637-11648. DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2014.03.163.
  8. Novais RM, Seabra P, Labrincha JA. Lightweight dense/porous bi-layered ceramic tiles prepared by double pressing. Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 2015, 216, 169-177. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmatprotec.2014.09.010.
  9. Novais, R.M., Seabra, M.P., Labrincha, J.A., 2015. Wood waste incorporation for lightweight porcelain stoneware tiles with tailored thermal conductivity. Journal of Cleaner Production, 90, 66-72. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.11.045.
  10. Novais, R.M., Ascensão G., Seabra, M.P., Labrincha, J.A., 2015. Lightweight dense/porous PCM-ceramic tiles for indoor temperature control. Energy and Buildings, 108, 205-214. DOI: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2015.09.019.
  11. Novais, R.M., Buruberri, L.H., Ascensão G., Seabra, M.P., Labrincha, J.A, 2016. Porous biomass fly ash-based geopolymers with tailored thermal conductivity. Journal of Cleaner Production 119, 99-107. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.01.083.
  12. Novais RM, Buruberri LH, Seabra MP, Bajare D, Labrincha JA, 2016. Novel porous fly ash-containing geopolymers for pH buffering applications. Journal of Cleaner Production, 124, 395-404. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.02.114. 
  13. Novais RM, Seabra MP, Amaral J, Pullar RC, 2016. Hidden value in low-cost inorganic pigments as potentially valuable magnetic materials. Ceramics International 42, 9605-9612. DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2016.03.045.
  14. Novais RM, Ascensão G, Seabra MP, Labrincha JA, 2016. Waste glass from end-of-life fluorescent lamps as raw materials in geopolymers. Waste Management 52, 245-255. DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2016.04.003.
  1. Pullar, R.C., Saeli, M., Novais, R.M., Labrincha, J.A., 2016. Valorisation of industrial iron oxide wastes to produce magnetic barium hexaferrite. ChemistrySelec 4, 819-825. DOI: 10.1002/slct.201500042.
  1. Novais RM, Ascensão, Buruberri LH, Senff L, Labrincha JA, 2016. Influence of blowing agent on the fresh- and hardened-state properties of lightweight geopolymers. Materials and Design 108, 551-559. DOI: 10.1016/j.matdes.2016.07.039.
  1. Novais RM, Buruberri LH, Seabra MP, Labrincha JA, 2016. Novel porous fly ash-containing geopolymer monoliths for lead adsorption from wastewaters. Journal of Hazardous Materials 318, 631-640. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2016.07.059.
  1. Novais R.M., Seabra M.P., Labrincha J.A., 2017. Porous geopolymer spheres as novel pH buffering materials. Journal of Cleaner Production 143, 1114-1122. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.12.008.
  1. Pullar R. C., Novais R. M., 2017. Ecoceramics – Cork-based biomimetic ceramic 3-DOM foams. Materials Today, 2017, 20, 45-46. DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2016.12.004.
  1. Novais R.M., Carvalheiras J., Seabra M.P., Pullar R.C., Labrincha J.A., 2017. Effective mechanical reinforcement of inorganic polymers using glass fibre waste. Journal of Cleaner Production 166, 343-349. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.07.242.
  1. Piccirillo C., Moreira I.S., Novais R.M., Fernandes A.J.S., Pullar R.C., Castro P.M.L., 2017. Biphasic apatite-carbon materials derived from pyrolysed fish bones for effective adsorption of persistent pollutants and heavy metals. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering 5, 4884-4894. DOI: 10.1016/j.jece.2017.09.010.
  1. Novais R.M., Ascensão G., Tobaldi D.M., Seabra M.P., Labrincha J.A., 2018. Biomass fly ash geopolymer monoliths for effective methylene blue removal from wastewaters. Journal of Cleaner Production 171, 783-794. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.10.078.
  1. Carneiro J., Tobaldi D.M., Hajjaji W., Capela M.N., Novais R.M., Seabra M.P., Labrincha J.A., 2018. Red mud as a substitute coloring agent for the hematite pigment. Ceramics International 44, 4211-4219. DOI:
  1. Novais R.M., Ascensão G., Ferreira N., Seabra M.P., Labrincha J.A., 2018. Influence of water and aluminium powder content on the properties of waste-containing geopolymer foams. Ceramics International 44, 6242-6249. DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2018.01.009.
  1. Novais R.M., Gameiro T., Carvalheiras J., Seabra M.P., Tarelho L., Labrincha J.A., Capela I., 2018. High pH buffer capacity biomass fly ash-based geopolymer spheres to boost methane yield in anaerobic digestion. Journal of Cleaner Production 178, 258-267. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.01.033.
  1. Carneiro J., Capela M.N., Tobaldi D.M., Novais R.M., Seabra M.P., Labrincha J.A., 2018. Red mud and electroplating sludge as coloring agents of distinct glazes: the influence of heat treatment. Materials Letters 223, 166-169, DOI:
  1. Novais RM, Carvalheiras J, Seabra MP, Pullar RC, Labrincha JA, 2018. Innovative application for bauxite residue: red mud-based inorganic polymer spheres as pH regulators. Journal of Hazardous Materials 358C, 69-81, DOI:
  1. Oliveira FAC, Barreiros MA, Abanades S, Caetano APF, Novais RM, Pullar RC, 2018. Solar thermochemical CO2 splitting using cork-templated ceria ecoceramics. Journal of CO2 utilization 26, 552-563. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcou.2018.06.015.
  1. Novais RM, Caetano APF, Seabra MP, Labrincha JA, Pullar RC, 2018.Extremely fast and efficient methylene blue adsorption using eco-friendly cork and paper waste-based activated carbon adsorbents. Journal of Cleaner Production197, 1137-1147, DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.06.278.
  1. Novais RM, Carvalheiras J, Senff L, Labrincha JA, 2018. Upcycling unexplored dregs and biomass fly ash from the paper and pulp industry in the production of eco-friendly geopolymer mortars: a preliminary assessment. Construction and Building Materials 184, 464-472. DOI: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2018.07.017.
  1. Novais RM, Carvalheiras J, Capela MN, Seabra MP, Pullar RC, Labrincha JA, 2018. Incorporation of glass fibre fabrics waste into geopolymer matrices: an eco-friendly solution for off-cuts coming from wind turbine blade production. Construction and Building Materials 187, 876-883. DOI: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2018.08.004.
  1. Saeli M, Novais RM, Seabra MP, Labrincha JA, 2018. Green geopolymeric concrete using grits for applications in construction. Materials Letters 233, 94-97. DOI: 10.1016/j.matlet.2018.08.102.
  1. Carneiro J, Tobaldi DM, Capela MN, Novais RM, Seabra MP, Labricha JA, 2018. Synthesis of ceramic pigments from industrial wastes: red mud and electroplating sludge. Waste Management 80, 371-378. DOI:
  1. De Rossi A, Carvalheiras J, Novais RM, Ribeiro MJ, Labrincha JA, , Hotza D, Moreira RFPM, 2018. Waste-based geopolymeric mortars with very high moisture buffering capacity. Construction and Building Materials 191, 39-46. DOI:
  1. Novais RM, Carvalheiras J, Tobaldi DM, Seabra MP, Pullar RC, Labrincha JA, 2019. Synthesis of porous biomass fly ash-based geopolymer spheres for efficient removal of methylene blue from wastewaters. Journal of Cleaner Production 207C, 350-362. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.09.265.
  1. De Rossi A, Simão L, Ribeiro MJ, Novais RM, Labrincha JA, , Hotza D, Moreira RFPM, 2019. In-situ synthesis of zeolites by geopolymerization of biomass fly ash and metakaolin. Materials Letters 236, 644-648. DOI:
  1. Novais RM, Pullar RC, 2019. Comparison of low and high pressure infiltration regimes on the density and highly porous microstructure of ceria ecoceramics made from sustainable cork templates. Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 39, 1287-1296. DOI:
  1. Gonzalez PLL, Pontikes Y, Novais RM, Labrincha JA, Blanpain B, 2019. Modifications of basic-oxygen-furnace slag microstructure and their effect on the rheology and the strngth of alkali-ativated binders. Cement and Concrete Composites 97, 143-153. DOI:


  1. Novais RM, Senff L, Carvalheiras J, Seabra MP, Pullar RC, Labrincha JA, 2019. Sustainable and efficient cork - inorganic polymer composites: an innovative and eco-friendly approach to produce ultra-lightweight and low thermal conductivity materials Cement and Concrete Composites 97, 107-117. DOI:
  1. Novais RM, Carvalheiras J, Seabra MP, Pullar RC, Labrincha JA, 2019. Red mud-based inorganic polymer spheres: bulk-type adsorbents and pH regulators. Materials Today 23, 105-106. DOI:
  1. Novais RM, Carvalheiras J, Senff L, Seabra MP, Pullar RC, Labrincha JA, 2019. In-depth investigation of the long-term strength and leaching behaviour of inorganic polymer mortars containing green liquor dregs. Journal of Cleaner Production 220C, 630-641. DOI:
  1. Hertel T, Novais RM, Alarcón RM, Labrincha JA, Pontikes Y, 2019. Use of modified bauxite residue-based porous inorganic polymer monoliths as adsorbent of methylene blue. Journal of Cleaner Production 227, 877-889. DOI:
  1. Bumanis G, Novais RM, Carvalheiras J, Bajare D, Labrincha JA, 2019.Porous alkali activated materials  comprehensive treatment of lead and zinc containing wastewater by precipitation or adsorption. Applied Clay Science179, 105147. DOI:
  1. De Rossi A, Ribeiro MJ, Labrincha JA, Novais RM, Hotza D, Moreira RFPM, 2019. Effect of the particle size range of construction and demolition waste on the fresh and hardened-state properties of fly ash-based geopolymer mortars with total replacement of sand. Process Safety and Environmental Protection 129, 130-137. DOI:
  1. Pullar RC, Novais RM, Caetano APF, Barreiros MA, Abanades S, Oliveira FAC, 2019. A review of solar thermochemical CO2 splitting using ceria-based ceramics with designed morphologies and microstructures. Frontiers in Chemistry 7, 601, 1-34. DOI: 0.3389/fchem.2019.00601.
  1. Novais RM, Saeli M, Caetano APF, Seabra MP, Labrincha JA, Surendran KP, Pullar RC, 2019. Pyrolysed cork-geopolymer composites: a novel and sustainable EMI shielding building material. Construction and Building Materials229, 116930. DOI:
  1. Quarta A, Novais R, Bettini S, Iafisco M, Pullar R, Piccirillo C, 2019. A sustainable multi-function biomorphic material for pollution remediation or UV absorption: Aerosol assisted preparation of highly porous ZnO-based materials from cork templates. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering 7, 102936. DOI:
  1. Carvalheiras J, Novais RM, Mohseni F, Amaral JS, Seabra MP, Labrincha JA, Pullar RC, 2020. Synthesis of red mud derived M-type barium hexaferrites with tuneable coercivity. Ceramics International 46, 5757-5764. DOI:
  1. Novais RM, Pullar, RC, Labrincha JA, 2020. Geopolymer foams: an overview of recent advancements. Progress in Materials Science 109, 100621. DOI:
  1. Senff L, Novais RM, Carvalheiras J, Labrincha JA, 2020. Eco-friendly approach to enhance the mechanical performance of inorganic polymer foams: using glass fibre waste coming from wind blade production. Construction and Building Materials 239, 117805. DOI:
  1. Novais RM, Carvalheiras J, Senff L, Lacasta AM, Cantalapidra IR, Giro-Paloma J, Seabra MP, Labrincha JA, 2020. Multifunctional cork – alkali-activated fly ash composites: a sustainable material to enhance buildins’ energy and acoustic performance. Energy and Buildings 210, 109739. DOI:
  1. Oliveira FAC, Barreiros MA, Haeussler A, Caetano APF, Mouquinho AI, Oliveira e Silva PM, Novais RM, Pullar RC, Abanades S, 2020. High performance cork-templated ceria for solar thermochemical hydrogen production via two-step water-splitting cycles. Sustainable Energy & Fuels 4, 3077-3089.
  1. Novais RM, Senff L, Carvalheiras J, Labrincha JA, 2020. Bi-layered porous/cork-containing waste based inorganic polymer composites: innovative material towards green buildings. Applied Sciences 10, 2995. DOI: 10.3390/app10092995.
  1. Simão L, Hotza D, Ribeiro MJ, Novais RM, Montedo ORK, Raupp-Pereira F, 2020. Development of new geopolymers based on stone cutting waste. Construction and Building Materials 257, 119525. DOI:


  1. Haeussler A, Abanades S, Oliveira FAC, Barreiros MA, Caetano APF, Novais RM, Pullar RC, 2020. Solar redox cycling of ceria structures based on fiber boards, foams, and biomimetic cork-derived ecoceramics for two-step thermochemical H2O and CO2 splitting. Energy & Fuels. DOI:
  1. Novais RM, Carvalheiras J, Seabra MP, Pullar RC, Labrincha JA, 2020 Highly efficient lead extraction from aqueous solutions using inorganic polymer foams derived from biomass fly ash and metakaolin. Journal of Environmental Management 272C, 111049. DOI:
  2. Gameiro T., Novais RM, Correia C, Carvalheiras J, Seabra MP, Labrincha JA, Duarte A, Capela I, 2020. Red mud-based inorganic polymer spheres: innovative and environmentally friendly anaerobic digestion enhancers. Bioresource Technology. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2020.123904.

Ongoing Supervisions



Evaluation of the Nature and Concentration of the Surfactant on the Properties of Red Mud/Metakaolin Porous Geopolymers Foamed with Aluminium

Bilici, S; Carvalheiras, J; Labrincha, JA; Novais, RM
2022, MATERIALS, 15, 21.

Review of recycling alternatives for paper pulp wastes

Vilarinho, IS; Gameiro, T; Capela, MN; Carvalheiras, J; Caetano, APF; Novo, C; Novais, RM; Seabra, MP; Labrincha, JA

The Role of an Industrial Alkaline Wastewater in the Alkali Activation of Biomass Fly Ash

Novo, CC; Senff, L; Seabra, MP; Novais, RM; Labrincha, JA

Unravelling the Affinity of Alkali-Activated Fly Ash Cubic Foams towards Heavy Metals Sorption

Caetano, APF; Carvalheiras, J; Senff, L; Seabra, MP; Pullar, RC; Labrincha, JA; Novais, RM
2022, MATERIALS, 15, 4.

Waste-Based One-Part Alkali Activated Materials

Goncalves, M; Vilarinho, IS; Capela, M; Caetano, A; Novais, RM; Labrincha, JA; Seabra, MP
2021, MATERIALS, 14, 11.
ISBN: 1996-1944

PCM-containing bi-layered alkali-activated materials: A novel and sustainable route to regulate the temperature and humidity fluctuations inside buildings

Goncalves, M; Novais, RM; Senff, L; Carvalheiras, J; Labrincha, JA
ISBN: 1873-684X

Simple and effective route to tailor the thermal, acoustic and hygrothermal properties of cork-containing waste derived inorganic polymer composites

Novais, RM; Senff, L; Carvalheiras, J; Lacasta, AM; Cantalapiedra, IR; Labrincha, JA

Immobilization of Hazardous Wastes on One-Part Blast Furnace Slag-Based Geopolymers

Paz-Gomez, DC; Vilarinho, IS; Perez-Moreno, SM; Carvalheiras, J; Guerrero, JL; Novais, RM; Seabra, MP; Rios, G; Bolivar, JP; Labrincha, JA
2021, SUSTAINABILITY, 13, 23.
ISBN: 2071-1050

Role of waste-based geopolymer spheres addition for pH control and efficiency enhancement of anaerobic digestion process

Gameiro, T; Novais, RM; Correia, CL; Carvalheiras, J; Seabra, MP; Tarelho, LAC; Labrincha, JA; Capela, I
ISBN: 1615-7605

Zeolites-containing geopolymers obtained from biomass fly ash: Influence of temperature, composition, and porosity

Simao, L; De Rossi, A; Hotza, D; Ribeiro, MJ; Novais, RM; Montedo, OKR; Raupp-Pereira, F
ISBN: 1551-2916

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