Swelling mica exhibits unique characteristics for purification of drinking water contaminated by heavy metals and for selective removal of Sr2+ and Ba2+ ions from nuclear waste solution. As a new approach to recycle fly ash, conversion of fly ash to swelling mica has been attempted and ion-exchange properties of fly ash-derived swelling mica (referred to hereinafter as FA-swelling mica) were examined in this study. Thermal treatment of fly ash with MgO in the presence of excess NaF led to the formation of swelling mica along with trace quantities of impurities. A swelling mica of good quality was obtained from the reactant ratio of fly ash 1 g : MgO 0.75 g : NaF 1.75 g. Unlike gel or kaolinite-derived synthetic Na-4-micas, FA-swelling mica exhibited heterogeneity in its framework. Its uptake capacity for Sr2+ ions was estimated to be 17.4 meq/100 g from 0.1 mM SrCl2 aqueous solution and 5.0 meq/100 g from 0.5 N NaCl solution containing the same Sr2+ concentration. These capacities are less than that of metakaolin-derived Na-4-mica. However, its ion exchange capacity for divalent transitional metal ions was estimated to be 284 meq/100 g from their inaqueous solutions and 206 meq/100 g from the 0.5 N NaCl solution containing the mixed metal ions of Cd2+, Co2+, Mn2+, Ni2+ and Zn2+ each at 1 mN concentration. These capacities are comparable to that of metakaolin-derived Na-4-mica. Its selectivity for transition metal ions is as follows: Zn2+ > Ni2+ ≥ Co2+ ≥ Cd2+ > Mn2+ and this is consistent with the ΔG° values from Gibbs-Duhem equation. These results clearly showed that fly ash could be converted to swelling mica with high uptake capacity for divalent transitional metal ions. Therefore, conversion of fly ash to highly pure swelling mica will lead to a resource from waste.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering