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Cerâmica

versão impressa ISSN 0366-6913versão On-line ISSN 1678-4553

Resumo

CAMPOS, V. M. J. S.; BERTOLINO, L. C.  e  ALVES, O. C.. Mineralogical characterization and beneficiation study of kaolin from Equador (RN) and Junco do Seridó (PB) to increase the brightness index. Cerâmica [online]. 2017, vol.63, n.367, pp.369-375. ISSN 0366-6913.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0366-69132017633672163.

Kaolin is a rock composed mainly of kaolinite. It is used in many industrial segments, such as paper and ceramics. However, for these uses it is necessary to submit the ore to appropriate beneficiation, which generally involves magnetic separation and chemical bleaching, aiming to remove iron oxide and hydroxide, raising brightness index. This work reports the mineralogical characterization and analysis of the beneficiation of three samples of kaolin, two from Equador (Rio Grande do Norte - RN) and the third from Junco do Seridó (Paraíba - PB). The samples were submitted to granulometric classification in sieve of 44 μm, magnetic separation in a magnetic induction of 14000 gauss, and chemical bleaching with sodium dithionite during 240 min. The processes were divided into two beneficiation routes. X-ray diffraction, chemical analysis by X-ray fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy were used for mineralogical characterization of the ore and measurement of the brightness index, while electron paramagnetic resonance was applied to study the variation of iron oxides and hydroxides during beneficiation. The results indicate that just 30 min of chemical bleaching without magnetic separation was sufficient to increase the brightness index from 78.2 to 90.2% and from 91.3 to 95.7% in the two samples from Equador (RN) and from 86.9 to 90.4% in the sample from Junco do Seridó (PB). The magnetic separation, although causing a small increase in the brightness index, was inefficient for removal of iron oxides and hydroxides. The results indicated no need for using magnetic separation in plants for beneficiation of kaolin from these two locations, providing the reduction of production costs allowing better exploitation of the ore.

Palavras-chave : magnetic separation; chemical bleaching; electron paramagnetic resonance; iron oxides and hydroxides.

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