Stability of kaolin sand from the Vyšný Petrovec deposit (south Slovakia) in an acid environment

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Abstract

Comprehensive characterization of kaolin sand from the Vyšný Petrovec (VP) deposit in Slovakia by a variety of experimental methods was performed. The quantitative XRD analysis (RockJock software) revealed that the acid-untreated sample contained mainly kaolinite (~60 wt. %), a considerable amount of dioctahedral micas (~32 wt. %) and quartz (~ 7 wt. %). The Hinckley index (HI) and Aparicio-Galán-Ferrel index (AGFI) calculated from the 02l and 11l reflections showed medium-defect kaolinite to be present in the VP kaolin. The influence of the mineral composition of VP kaolin on its stability in 6 mol · dm-3 HCl at 95 °C was investigated. The solid reaction products were examined by chemical analysis; XRD and infrared spectroscopy in both middle (MIR) and near (NIR) regions. Considerably higher dissolution rate of Fe compared to Al indicated that Fe was bounded in a readily soluble phase rather than in kaolinite. While the MIR spectra confirmed the gradual release of the central atoms from the clay minerals layers and creation of amorphous silica upon acid treatment, the NIR spectra revealed the formation of Si-OH groups in the solid reaction product. Relatively high dissolution rate of VP kaolin resulted from the presence of small-grains of mediumdefect kaolinite and clay admixtures in VP kaolin sand.

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