Isaac Nkrumah

Abstracts

1 Synthesis of Zeolites from Bauxite and Kaolin: Effect of Synthesis Parameters on Competing Phases

Authors: Craig D. Williams, Bright Kwakye-Awuah, Elizabeth Von-Kiti, Isaac Nkrumah, Baah Sefa-Ntiri

Abstract:

Bauxite and kaolin from Ghana Bauxite Company mine site were used to synthesize zeolites. Bauxite served as the alumina source and kaolin the silica source. Synthesis variations include variation of aging time at constant crystallization time and variation of crystallization times at constant aging time. Characterization techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive x-ray analysis (EDX) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were employed in the characterization of the raw samples as well as the synthesized samples. The results obtained showed that the transformations that occurred and the phase of the resulting products were coordinated by the aging time, crystallization time, alkaline concentration and Si/Al ratio of the system. Zeolites A, X, Y, analcime, Sodalite, and ZK-14 were some of the phases achieved. Zeolite LTA was achieved with short crystallization times of 3, 5, 18 and 24 hours and a maximum aging of 24 hours. Zeolite LSX was synthesized with 24 hr aging followed with 24 hr hydrothermal treatment whilst zeolite Y crystallized after 48 hr of aging and 24 hr crystallization. Prolonged crystallization time produced a mixed phased product. Prolonged aging times, on the other hand, did not yield any zeolite as the sample was amorphous. Increasing the alkaline content of the reaction mixture above 5M introduced sodalite phase in the final product. The properties of the final products were comparable to zeolites synthesized from pure chemical reagents.

Keywords: Crystallization, Aging, zeolites, Kaolin, bauxite

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