USE OF GANGUE KAOLINS FROM COAL DEPOSITS IN SYNTHETIC ZEOLITE PRODUCTION

2022-8-29
Kutlu, Burak Temel
Kaolin is a mineral with industrial value and can be used as a raw material in different areas. In most uses, pure quality kaolin is required. However, not all the kaolin occurrences are pure as much as needed and additional processes are applied before use. Nevertheless, some occurrences are accepted as gangue material due to their poor quality and low reserve. Kaolin-rich layers are widespread in coal deposits, but their quality is low. The presence of clay-rich layers with kaolin content in coal deposits is accepted as a problem in coal mines worldwide. In Turkey, it is also a common problem. Zeolite is another widely used and commercially valuable industrial raw material, with applications in desiccants, molecular sieves, catalysts, water softeners, and warm mix asphalt additives. However, natural zeolites are limited in purity, color, quality of the zeolite crystals, and reserve, and synthetic ones are produced to use in end products. In the production of synthetic zeolite like zeolite 4A, kaolin is a unique source due to its similar silicon and aluminum contents, and structures. Even the economically valuable kaolin used for zeolite production is generally pre-treated to have unique high quality. This brings an additional expense in production. In this study, samples from kaolin-rich clay layers that are in assemblage with coal layers within the Thrace basin of Turkey and accepted as gangue material in coal mines were tested to synthesize zeolite 4A. The samples are composed of montmorillonite and illite as well. Three different activation methods were applied to the samples for the first time, and the synthesis of zeolites was successfully fulfilled. The study showed that commercially invaluable, clay and kaolin-rich gangue from coal deposits within the Thrace region of Turkey can be converted into zeolites, as a value-added product for the market which can be used in various applications in industry. In that way, the wastes that are considered gangue minerals from coal mines could be aimed to be brought back into the economy.

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Citation Formats
B. T. Kutlu, “USE OF GANGUE KAOLINS FROM COAL DEPOSITS IN SYNTHETIC ZEOLITE PRODUCTION,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2022.