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