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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Silica-alumina is also known as alumino-silicate(s). It is an oxide-like combination of aluminium, silicon and oxygen, and it has a major component of kaolin and clays.

  • Inorganic Chemistry by Swaddle calls the group of minerals aluminosilicate when some of the Si4+ ions in silicates are replaced by Al3+ ions. For each Si4+ ion replaced by an Al3+, the charge must be balanced by having other positive ions such as Na+, K+, and Ca2+ ions. Feldspar group and zeolites are typical aluminosilicates by this definition.

  • There are hundreds of aluminosilicate minerals including the micas which form flat sheets. A local variety of mica is biotite, K3AlSi3O10(OH)2. Another aluminosilicate mineral, kyanite, Al2SiO5, forms long, fibrous crystals and is mined locally at Willis Mountain. Feldspars are a broad class of aluminosilicates, of which microcline, K[AlSi3O8], is a local variety. Finally, Kaolinite, Al2Si2O5(OH)4, is an aluminosilicate mineral which, when powdered and mixed with water, form one variety of clay.

Manufacturing Process

  • The major raw materials required for the proposed unit are Sodium Silicate and Aluminium Sulphate.

  • The manufacturing process involves preparation of Sodium Silicate Solution and reaction with aluminium sulphate at predetermined temperature. Resultant slurry is pumped into the filter press. The product after filteration is dried and packed.

Applications

  • Aluminium Silicate is used as a filler and extender in the rubber, paper, paint and tooth paste industries. It replaces the use of siliceous chemicals viz. precipitated silica, hydrated calcium silicate, magnesium trisilicate etc.

  • Zeolites are a well defined class of crystalline aluminosilicate mineral. They occur naturally but also more than 150 types have been synthesised. In the seventies Zeolite A was developed as a detergent builder. Builders are ingredients which perform a number of functions in laundry detergents. The most important one is to soften the wash water by complexing the calcium and magnesium ions.

  • Natural zeolites are mainly used in building (cements) or in paper industry (fillers for paper). Other applications of these materials are as cat litter, sewage water treatment and in agriculture.

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