Metall. Res. Technol.
Volume 116, Number 2, 2019
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Published online||22 February 2019|
Potential of a Nigerian biotite-rich kaolinite ore to industrial alumina by hydrometallurgical process
Department of Industrial Chemistry, University of Ilorin,
2 National Mathematical Centre, P.M.B. 118, Sheda Kwali, Abuja, Nigeria
3 Chemistry Advance Research Centre, Sheda Science and Technology Complex, FCT, P.M.B. 186, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria
4 Department of Geology and Mineral Sciences, University of Ilorin, P.M.B. 1515, Ilorin 240003, Nigeria
Accepted: 20 July 2018
Increasing demands for aluminium and aluminium oxide with diverse industrial applications have prompted the development of a low-cost and eco-friendly technique as a substitute for conventional ore treatments by reduction-roasting route, requiring high energy consumption. For example, the demand for high-grade industrial alumina (Al2O3) as valuable materials in refractories, pigments, adsorbents, catalysis, water purification, aluminium production and metallurgical applications cannot be over emphasized. Thus, the upgrading of a Nigerian biotite-rich kaolinite ore containing admixture of kaolinite (Al2.00Si2.00O9.00: 96-900-9231), biotite (Mg6.55Fe3.46Al5.29Ti1.34Si11.36K4.00O48.00: 96-900-0844) and quartz (Si3.00O6.00: 96-900-9667) impurities by hydrometallurgical route was investigated in phosphoric acid media. During leaching, parameters such as leachant concentration, particle size and reaction temperature on the extent of ore dissolution were accordingly examined. At optimal leaching conditions (2.0 mol/L H3PO4, 75 °C), 87.0% of the initial 10 g/L ore reacted within 120 min. The activation energy of 16.6 kJ/mol supported the diffusion control reaction mechanism. The unreacted product (∼13.0%) analyzed by XRD was found to contain siliceous impurities including iron silicate and manganese silicate which could serve as valuable by-products for some defined industries. The leach liquor at optimal leaching conditions was accordingly treated to obtain pure aluminium solution which was further beneficiated to obtain high-grade alumina (α-Al2O3) of industrial value with 96.3% purity.
Key words: kaolinite / biotite / leaching / phosphoric acid / solvent extraction / D2EHPA / alumina
© EDP Sciences, 2019
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