Effects of Beneficiation on the Characteristics of Alkaleri Kaolin
Keywords:Alkaleri clay, Kaolinite, XRD, SEM, pH, Specific gravity
Effect of beneficiation on characteristics of a local clay Alkaleri village in Bauch State, Nigeria is presented. The raw clay was beneficiated by wet beneficiation method. Mineralogical characterization of the clay was carried out using X-ray diffraction (XRD) machine. Physicochemical characterization of the clay was carried out using X-ray fluorescence (XRF) machine, pH meter and specific gravity analyzer. Morphological characterization of the clay was conducted using scanning electron microscopic (SEM) machine. The qualitative XRD analysis showed presence of kaolinite peaks at Bragg’s angle values of 12.4⁰, 20.5⁰, 24.9⁰, 35.1⁰, 55.4⁰ and 62.3⁰ and presence of quartz peaks at Bragg’s angle values of 26.6⁰ and 38.5⁰. The XRD analysis further showed that the raw clay possessed 84% kaolinite and 16% quartz impurity. The XRF result of raw Alkaleri clay showed that the clay contained 53 wt% silica and 42.4 wt% alumina making the silica-alumina ratio of the 1.25. Other metallic oxides present in the clay as impurity were iron oxide, titanium oxide, magnesium oxide, potassium oxide, zirconium oxide, sulfur oxide and cesium oxide, present at 0.9, 2.2, 0.7, 04, 0.2, 0.1 and 0.1 wt%, respectively. The specific gravity values of the raw and beneficiated clay were 2.18 and 2.16, respectively. The average pH values of the raw and beneficiated were 4.9. and 6.0, respectively. The SEM results revealed that Alkaleri clay possessed dispersed lump-like morphology with tetrahedral or hexagonal imperfect crystal shapes and the average particle size of the clay was estimated to be 500 m.
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