Preparation and Characterization of Zeolite type 4A using Kaolin from Ajebo; Nigeria


This work investigates the hydrothermal synthesis and characterization of zeolite-4A from kaolin found in Ajebo, Nigeria calcined at 700 and 900oC respectively. The synthesized zeolite-4A was further characterised using X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometer (FTIR), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-Ray diffraction (XRD), Brunauer-Emmet-Teller (BET) surface area analysis as well as Differential Thermal Analysis/Thermo-gravimetric (TG). Water adsorption capacity tests were also carried out on the synthesized zeolite-4A. The results from the XRF measurements indicated that the amount of Al2O3 and SiO2 in the studied kaolin was similar to the standard kaolin composition making it a perfect candidate for zeolite-4A synthesis. FTIR showed the characteristic zeolite peaks while XRD confirmed the crystalline nature of the synthesized zeolite-4A. TG studies showed that the zeolite-4A samples were stable up to temperatures of 700oC. This stability as well as the surface area and pore size of 7 Å makes it potentially suitable for use in water treatment applications. The SEM showed cubic crystals which were typical of the morphology of zeolite-4A with water adsorption capacity of approximately 29%. These results indicate that zeolite-4A can be synthesized from kaolin found in Ajebo as an inexpensive alternative to traditionally sourced materials and also is suitable for use as adsorption agent.
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