APPLICATION OF ZEOLITE 3A SYNTHESIZED FROM KANKARA CLAY FOR DEHYDRATION OF ETHANOL
In this work zeolite 3A pellets produced from Kankara kaolin through the normal hydrothermal (3AH) and fusion-hydrothermal (3AFH) routes and, commercial zeolite 3A (3AC) were characterized and used to dehydrate water-ethanol mixture at 90oC. The pore size of 3AFH, 3AH and 3AC were 3.09, 3.78 and 2.82 Å respectively. The corresponding specific surface areas were 254.60, 177.0 and 225.5 m2/g. The respective bulk densities of samples’ pellets were 0.687. 0.673 and 0.91 g/cm3. The properties compare well with the literature values except 3AH pore size. The breakthrough curves were obtained with 80 – 95 wt.% ethanol-water mixtures on 3AFH and 3AC pellets. However, only 95 wt% ethanol feed produced fuel grade (≥99.5 wt%) ethanol. The respective breakthrough times at inlet/outlet water concentrations (C/Co) of 0.1 were 50 and 75 min on 3AFH and 3AC. Thus 3AFH pellets performed fairly well in comparison with commercial zeolite (3AC) pellets.