Dissolution Kinetics Potential of a Biotite-Rich Kaolinite Ore for Industrial Applications by Oxalic Acid Solution

  • Alafara A. BabaEmail author
  • Mustapha A. RajiEmail author
  • Aishat Y. Abdulkareem
  • Malay K. Ghosh
  • Rafiu B. Bale
  • Christianah O. Adeyemi


The increasing demand for pure aluminum and aluminum compounds of industrial quality from kaolinite ore cannot be overemphasized. Nigeria is one of the African countries endowed with abundant solid mineral resources that have not been sufficiently exploited to assist its indigenous industries. A wide array of applications of pure aluminum and its compounds are available, such as paper filling, refractories, adsorbent, catalysis, and paint additives. In this study, the upgrading of a Nigerian biotite-rich kaolinite ore by a hydrometallurgical route was investigated in oxalic acid media. During leaching studies, the effects of parameters including reaction temperature, lixiviant concentration and particle size on the extent of ore dissolution were examined. At optimal conditions (1.0 mol/L C2H2O4, 75 °C), 92.0% of the initial 10 g/L ore was reacted within 120 min. The dissolution curves from the shrinking core model were analyzed and found to conform to the assumption of surface diffusion reaction, and the calculated activation energy of 33.2 kJ/mol supported the proposed model. The unreacted product (~8.0%) analyzed by XRD was found to contain siliceous impurities and could serve as a valuable by-product for certain industries.


Biotite-rich kaolinite ore Nigeria Oxalic acid Leaching Reaction mechanism 



The authors are grateful to Miranda Waldron of the Centre for Imaging & Analysis, University of Cape Town, South Africa for assisting with SEM and EDS analyses.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Gajam SY, Raghavan S (1985) A kinetic model for the hydrochloric acid leaching of kaolinite clay in the presence of fluoride ions. Hydrometallurgy 15(2):143–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wu CY, Yu HF, Zhang HF (2012) Extraction of aluminium by pressure acid-leaching method from coal fly ash. Trans Nonferrous Metals Soc China 22(9):2282–2288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Matjie RH, Bunt JR, Van-Heerden JHP (2005) Extraction of alumina from coal fly ash generated from a selected low rank bituminous South African coal. Miner Eng 18(3):299–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Turhan Y, Dogan AM (2010) Poly(vinyl chloride)/kaolinite nanocomposites: characterization and thermal and optical properties. Ind Eng Chem Res 49:1503–1513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hamzaoui R, Muslim F, Guessasma S, Bennabi A, Guillin J (2015) Structural and thermal behavior of proclay kaolinite using high energy ball milling process. Powder Technol 271:228–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ptacek P, Opravil T, Soukali F, Wasserbauer J, Masiko J, Baracek J (2013) The influence of structure order on the kinetics of dehydroxylation of kaolinite. J Eur Ceram Soc 33:2793–2799CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lu M, Xia G, Zhang X (2017) Refinement of industrial kaolin by removal of iron-bearing impurities using thiourea dioxide under mechanical activation. Appl Clay Sci 141:192–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Taran M, Aghaie E (2015) Designing and optimization of separation process of iron impurities from kaolin by oxalic acid in bench-scale stirred-tank reactor. Appl Clay Sci 107:109–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cao W, Xia C, Lu M, Huang H, Xu Y (2016) Iron removal from kaolin using binuclear rare earth complex activated thiourea dioxide. Appl Clay Sci 126:63–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Michaela T, Jonas T, Kristina C, Vlastimil M, Katerina MK, Jana S (2014) The stability of photoactive kaolinite/TiO2 composite. Composites 67:262–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Cameselle C, Ricart MT, Nunez MJ, Lema JM (2003) Iron removal from kaolin. Comparison between “in situ” and “two-stage” bioleaching processes. Hydrometallurgy 68:97–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gonzalez JA, Del JA, Ruiz C (2006) Bioleaching of kaolins and clays by chlorination of iron and titanium. Appl Clay Sci 33:219–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hosseini MR, Pazouki M, Ranjbar M, Habibian M (2007) Bioleaching of iron from highly contaminated kaolin clay by Aspergillus niger. Appl Clay Sci 33:251–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Thurlow C (2001) China clay from Cornwall and Devon-The Modern China Clay Industry, Cornish Hillside publication, St. Austell, Cornwall. In: Lu M, Xia G, Zhang X (2017) Refinement of industrial kaolin by removal of iron-bearing impurities using thiourea dioxide under mechanical activation. Applied Clay Science, 141, p 192-197Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Liu W, Tang C, He J, Yang J, Yang S (2010) Dissolution kinetics of low grade complex copper ore in ammonia-ammonium chloride solution. Trans Nonferrous Metals Soc China 20:910–917CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Baba AA, Mosobalaje MA, Ibrahim AS, Girigisu S, Eletta OAA, Aluko FI, Adekola FA (2015) Bleaching of a Nigerian kaolin by oxalic acid leaching. J Chem Technol Metall 50(5):623–630Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Velho JAGL, Gomes CF (1991) Characterization of Portuguese kaolins for the paper industry: beneficiation through new delamination techniques. Appl Clay Sci 6:155–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lima PEA, Angélica RS, Neves RF (2014) Dissolution kinetics of metakaolin in sulfuric acid: comparison between heterogeneous and homogeneous reaction methods. Appl Clay Sci 88-89:159–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hernandez RA, Garcia FL, Hernandez LE, Luevanos AM (2012) Iron removal from kaolinite clay by leaching to obtain whiteness index. 3rd Congress on Materials Science and Engineering (CNCIM-Mexico 2012), IOP Conf. Series: Mat. Sci. Eng., 45, p 1-5Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Altiokka MR, Akalin H, Melek N, Akyalcin S (2010) Investigation of the dissolution kinetics of meta-kaolin in H2SO4 solution. Ind Eng Chem Res 49:12379–12382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Sathy C, Ramaswamy S (2007) Investigation on a gray kaolin from south east India. Appl Clay Sci 37:32–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Raji MA (2017) Purification of Biotite-rich Kaolinite mineral for Industrial Applications, M.Sc. Thesis, Department of Industrial Chemistry, University of Ilorin, Nigeria, p 1-165Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Mahi P, Livingston WR, Rogers DA, Chapman RJ, Bailey NT (1991) The use of coal spoils as feed materials for alumina recovery by acid leaching routes. Part 6: the purification and crystallization of chloride and chloride/fluoride leach liquors by HCl gasprecipitation. Hydrometallurgy 26:75–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Cui HX, Cheng WT, Guo YX, Cheng FQ (2013) Study of the solubility of AlCl3.6H2O in several chlorides systems. Ind Inorg Salt 45(5):12–15Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Li C, Yanxia G, Xuming W, Zhiping D, Fangqin C (2015) Dissolution kinetics of aluminium and iron from coal mining waste by hydrochloric acid. Chin J Chem Eng 23:590–596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Hursit M, Lacin O, Sarac H (2009) Dissolution kinetics of smithsonite ore as an alternative zinc source with an organic leach reagent. J Taiwan Inst Chem Eng 97:6–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Santos FM, Pina FM, Porcaro PS, Oliveira R, Silva AV, Leão VA (2010) The kinetics of zinc silicate leaching in sodium hydroxide. Hydrometallurgy 102:43–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Moore, J. (1981) Chemical Metallurgy. Butterworth and Co, England, In: MacCarthy J, Nosrati A, Skinner W, Addai-Mensah J (2015) Effect of mineralogy and temperature on atmospheric acid leaching and rheological behavior of metal oxide and clay mineral dispersions. Powder Technology, 286, p 420-430Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Gbor PK, Ahmed IB, Jia CQ (2000) Behaviour of Co and Ni during aqueous sulphur dioxide leaching of nickel smelter slag. Hydrometallurgy 57:13–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Levenspiel O (1999) Chemical reaction engineering. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Cheng WP, Fu CH, Chen PH, Yu RF (2012) Dynamics of aluminum leaching from water purification sludge. J Hazard Mater 217–218:149–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Brantley SL (1995) Kinetics of mineral dissolution, kinetics of water-rock interaction. Springer, Chapter, 5Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Martínez-Luévanos A, Rodríguez-Delgado MG, Uribe-Salas A, Carrillo-Pedroza FR, Osuna-Alarcón JG (2011) Leaching kinetics of iron from low grade kaolin by oxalic acid solutions. Appl Clay Sci 51:473–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Feng P, Xuchen L, Yun W, Shiwei C, Tizhuang W, Yan Y (2014) Synthesis and crystallization kinetics of ZSM-5 without organic template from coal-series kaolinite. Microporous Mesoporous Mater 184:134–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Abd El-Moghny MW (2017) The nature, origin and distribution of kaolinite in the lower Paleozoic Naqus formation along western side of Gulf of Suez, Egypt. Nat Sci 15(2):49–61Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alafara A. Baba
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mustapha A. Raji
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aishat Y. Abdulkareem
    • 1
    • 2
  • Malay K. Ghosh
    • 3
  • Rafiu B. Bale
    • 4
  • Christianah O. Adeyemi
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Industrial ChemistryUniversity of IlorinIlorinNigeria
  2. 2.National Mathematical CentreAbujaNigeria
  3. 3.CSIR-Institute of Minerals and Materials TechnologyBhubaneswarIndia
  4. 4.Department of Geology and Mineral SciencesUniversity of IlorinIlorinNigeria
  5. 5.Department of Science Laboratory TechnologyFederal Polytechnic OffaOffaNigeria

Personalised recommendations