Chemical treatment of kaolin. Case study of kaolin from the Tamazert– Jijel mine
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Department of Mining, Mineral Processing and Environmental Research Laboratory, Annaba University, Badji Mokhtar, Algeria
Department of Mining, Natural Resources and Development Laboratory, Annaba University, Badji Mokhtar, Algeria
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Mohamed Chouafa   

Department of Mining, Mineral Processing and Environmental Research Laboratory, Annaba University, Badji Mokhtar, Algeria
Mining Science 2015;22:171-180
The Tamazert-Jijel kaolin deposit is located in eastern Algeria, It was formed during a process of hydro-thermal alteration of feldspars rich in potassium. Kaolin, obtained at the mine, mainly contains varying amounts of impurities such as iron oxide (Fe2O3) and anatase (TiO2). These components negatively affect the quality of the commercial product. This research was performed to improve the quality of kaolin to be used in the paper industry with the goal of reducing the impurities of iron and titanium oxides. Different sized fractions of the original sample were analyzed by XRD. The results obtained showed that the mineralogical composition is: quartz, muscovite, kaolinite, dolomite, albite and orthoclase. Kaolin, like all clays, has a thin dissemination of minerals throughout it. After processing kaolin, the particle size fraction of less than 45μm, corresponding to the liberation mesh size, was retained for purification by chemical treatment with different acids of different concentrations (hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, acetic acid), heated to boiling point temperatures. The kaolin samples treated with the various acids above were analyzed by X-ray fluorescence and by XRD. The results obtained from the sample treated with hydrochloric acid show that the iron oxide content of acid is reduced by 1.65% to 0.88%. Meanwhile, the brightness of the sample reached 90% under the effect of the treatment with hydrochloric acid at concentration of 2 mole/dm3.
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