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BARATA, M. S.  and  ANGELICA, R. S.. Characterization of kaolin wastes from kaolin mining industry from the amazon region as raw material for pozzolan production. Cerâmica [online]. 2012, vol.58, n.345, pp.36-42. ISSN 0366-6913.

Capim and Jari are the two most important kaolin mining districts of the Brazilian Amazon region. They encompass the major Brazilian reserves of high quality kaolin for the paper coating industry. The kaolin is mined and processed by three major companies responsible for about 500,000 ton of a residue mainly composed of kaolinite. The wastes come mainly from the centrifugation phase of the kaolin beneficiation process and their final destinations are huge sedimentation basins that occupy large areas. The main purpose of this work is to evaluate the physical, chemical and mineralogical characteristics of the kaolin wastes processed from the Capim and Jari region, in order to obtain metakaolinite, a high reactive pozzolan for the cement industry. When incorporated to ordinary Portland cement such pozzolans increases the concrete and mortars performance. All the residues studied in this work were characterized by means of: X-ray diffraction analysis, differential thermal analysis, infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray fluorescence spectrometry and laser diffraction. Both residues are mainly constitutes by at least 92% of low granulometry kaolinite with specific surface area above 8 m2/g and mean diameter below 1 µm. Free silica (quartz) contents are below 3%. The high concentration of kaolinite in these residues dispenses rigid control parameters for removal of impurities usually employed in pozzolan production. The Jari kaolin exhibits high disordered kaolinite in comparison with the high ordered kaolinite of the Capim region and gives rise to higher desidroxilation degree at lower temperatures. It points to energy saving and reducing costs during the production of a pozzolan. The results are satisfactory and reveal that both kaolin wastes are excellent raw material for the production of high reactive metakaolin.

Keywords : kaolin; waste; Portland cement; mineral admixture; pozzolan; metakaolin.

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