Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 49, Issue 24, pp 8261–8271 | Cite as

A comparative study using direct hydrothermal and indirect fusion methods to produce zeolites from coal fly ash utilizing single-mode microwave energy

  • Syed Salman Bukhari
  • Jamshid Behin
  • Hossein Kazemian
  • Sohrab Rohani
Original Paper


This paper investigates the effects of microwave irradiation on the synthesis of zeolite Na-A from coal fly ash at atmospheric pressure. Microwave irradiation has shown to accelerate zeolitization from several hours to several minutes. A single-mode laboratory-scale microwave was employed, which enabled control of irradiated power and temperature of the reaction mixture, while the pressure was controlled by affixing a condenser on the 40 mL Teflon reactor vessel with a working volume 20 mL. Design of Experiment was used to compare two methods of converting CFA to zeolite-A, direct hydrothermal method and indirect fusion method. Experiments conducted were two level four factorial designs. The first factor considered was the categorical factor of conversion method (hydrothermal vs fusion), while the other three factors investigated were power (P), time (θ), and aluminate concentration (δ). Zeolite produced from CFA (CFAZA) was characterized using XRD, FTIR, SEM, TGA, BET, and cation exchange capacity. It was observed that the crystallinity of the product was influenced by factors such as, conversion method, power, time, and aluminate concentration. The hydrothermal and fusion products were comparable to each other in their characteristics, however, hydrothermal CFAZA performed better at immobilizing heavy metal ions and showed better crystalline structure, whereas fusion CFAZA had a higher BET surface area and a slightly higher CEC. Regardless of the performance of the categorical factors the other factors, i.e., power, time, and aluminate concentration followed the same trend for both types of CFAZA.


Zeolite Cation Exchange Capacity Fusion Method Aluminate Concentration Conversion Method 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Biochemical EngineeringWestern University (UWO)LondonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringRazi UniversityKermanshahIran

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