Control of Natural Zeolite Properties by Mechanical Activation in Stirred Media Mill

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Due to the special characteristics of zeolites, they can be applied in a very wide range of industries, i.e. agricultural, environmental or water treatment purposes. Generally, high added value zeolite products are manufactured by micro- or nanogrinding. However, these processes require high energy input and cause significant wearing of the mill parts. Therefore, the optimization of zeolite grinding, as well as the control of its properties are of a great importance. In the present paper a Hungarian natural zeolite was mechanically activated in stirred media mill for various residence times in distilled water, meanwhile the particle size distribution and the grinding energy were measured. Additionally, on-line tube rheometer was used to study the rheology of the suspension during the grinding process. The particle interaction and the suspension aggregation stability were detected by zeta-potential measurements. Structural changes due to the mechanical activation process were monitored by FTIR. It was found that the material structure of the zeolite, as well as the rheological behaviour of the zeolite suspension and its aggregation stability had been altered due to the mechanical activation in the stirred media mill. It can be concluded that the zeolite product properties can be modified by mechanical activation in order to produce a high added value tailored material.

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