EFFECTS OF DEALUMINATION ON THE PHYSIO-CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF CLAY FOR INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS
The physiochemical properties of natural clay and its modified form were investigated for use as catalyst. The clay samples were from Ukpor, in Nnewi in Anambra state, south eastern Nigeria. The particle size of 2mm was used. A known weight of the natural clay was mixed with a 36 N sulphuric acid at a molar ratio of 1: 5. The mixture was heated in a furnace at 500oC, ramped at 5oC/min for one hour. The resulted clay was calcined at 600oC for 6 hours. Both samples were characterized using X-ray fluorescence equipment (XRF), X-ray diffraction (XRDP) powder patterns, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX). The results of the treated clay revealed it’s amorphous, 67% increase of silicon. The EDX revealed 36.5% Si, 2.4% Al. No significant change in the O2 of both samples. Surface area was 500 m2/g. The Si/Al ratio was raised to 15.0 for the treated clay. De-alumination method used showed greater influence on the physiochemical properties compared to aqueous HCl, NaHSO4 and H2SO4. This opens up higher possibility of controlling the degree of alumina and silica by choice for different industrial applications.