AN ANALYSIS OF PROPERTIES OF KAOLIN DEPOSITS IN NIGERIA
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This study considered the mineralogical, elemental composition in form oxides and engineering properties such as particle size, specific gravity, bulk density; water content and atterberg limits of two kaolin deposits in Kpankorogi in Edu Local Government of Kwara State and in Ijero-Ekiti in Ijero-Ekiti Local Government Area, Ekiti State.
This is with a view to assessing their potentials for Various industrial applications.
The analyses includes X-Ray Diffraction (XRD and X-Ray Fluorescence(XRF). It was observed that the kaolin sample from Kpankorogi is dominated by Quartz and the one from Ijero- ekiti by Orthoclase.
The result of the chemical analysis indicates the presences of SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O¬3, TiO2, MnO, CaO, MgO, K2O, Na2O, CuO, ZmO, Cr2O5, V2O5 and Sc2O3. The X RD In particular, shows that Kpankorogi kaolin contains Quartz and Kaolinite while Ijero- Ekiti contains in addition to kaolinites orthoclase and Muscovite.
Considering the possible applications of the two kaolin deposits, it was observed they do not meet the required standards completely in all instances.
Kaolin is a clay rock and part of the group of industrial minerals with the chemical composition (Al2Si205 (OH)4.
It is a layered silicate mineral with one tetrahedral sheet linked through oxygen atoms to one octahedral sheet alumina i.e. structurally composed of silicate sheet (Si2O¬5) bonded to aluminum oxide/hydroxide layer Al2 (OH)4 called gibbsite layers and repeating layer of the mineral are hydrogen bonded together.
(Rost, 1992; Bish, 1993; Klein and Kuribut, 1993; Slivka, 2002).
Kaolin is a plastic raw material, particular consisting of clay mineral kaolinite.
In systematic mineralogy, Kaolin ranks among phyllosilicates, which are stratified clay minerals formed by a network of tetrahedral and octahedral layers.
Phyllosillicates are classified into the main groups according to the type of layers, inter-layer contents, charge of the layers and chemical formulas. Besides kaolinite groups, serpentine, halloysite, pyrofylite, mica and montmorillonite groups also ranks among phylllosillicates.
Group of kaolinites includes di-octahedral mineral with two layers and one silica (SiO4) tetrahedral layer and one aluminum (Al2(OH)4) octahedral layer. The layers are bonded together by sharing oxygen anion between Al and Si together, these two layers are called platelets (Pauk,et al.,1962; Stejskal, 1971., Duda et al., and Hurl but, 1993).
Kaolinite shares the same chemistry as the mineral halloysite, diskette and nerite.
The four minerals are polymorphs as they have the same chemistry but different structures.
All the minerals were derived from chemical alteration of aluminum rich silicate minerals, such as feldspars.
However, they could be found as sedimentary deposits as well as hydrothermal alteration product of rocks containing a high of alumina-silicate minerals.
Kaolin is formed under acidic conditions through weathering or hydrothermal change of feldspars, and to a lower extent also other weathered kaolin deposits, kaolin clay or may be a compound of kaolinite, sandstones and olitic ironstones, and less frequently also of pegmatite and hydrothermal deposit.
The most significant kaolin deposits were formed through intensive weathering of rock rich in feldspars (granite, arkoses, certain types of ortho-gneisses and misgmatites).
Millions years ago, original material was decomposed by weathering, giving rise to kaolin and silica combined with higher or lower amounts of admixtures.(Bernard, el al; 1992).
1.1 Aim and Objectives of the Study
Aim of this study is to determine the suitable industrial application of kaolin from location investigated.
To achieve the above stated aim, the following objective will be carried out:
i. determination of mineralogical composition of the kaolin deposits
ii determination of the chemical/oxide composition of the deposits
iii determination of the physical and engineering properties of the kaolin deposits.
1.2 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The purpose of this project covers two deposits, the Kpankorogi and the Ijero-Ekiti kaolin deposits.
Samples were collected from each of the deposits for oxide analyses, mineralogical analyses as well as the determination of the engineering and physical properties.
The numbers of samples are limited due to cost constraint. A sample is collected from each of the deposits for both the oxides and mineralogical analyses. This particular study does not include reserve estimation, but this is recommended for future workers.
1.3 Research Justification
Since Kaolin is a widely used industrial material, determination of its chemical composition, mineralogical contents and engineering properties are very important.
It will enable the suitable industrial and economic applications of Kaolin.
1.4 Problem Statement
Difficulty where encounter in this project research, during the samples collection.
During the collection of samples digging where involved to get the appropriate samples, which is very tedious to dig.
More so, during the analyses of the of engineering properties of the samples in which problems occur by which some engineering properties was not able to carried out which it as been refer for the future work.