In series of composition and structural characterizations of

In this study, as an alternative to the pure chemical used to prepare zeolite NaA, the clay mineral kaolinite was used as the source material for NaA-zeolite preparation. Kaolin has been utilized as an alternative cheap raw material for the synthesis of zeolite A via a two-step reaction; (1) dehydroxylation of kaolin at 900 °C to form an activated amorphous material known as metakaolin; (2) hydrothermal treatment of metakaolin with an aqueous alkali to form the zeolite. Before this reaction takes place, however, raw kaolin undergoes a pretreatment process to increase its purity through the removal of impurities. The present investigation deals with the preparation of zeolite A from refined kaolin. A series of composition and structural characterizations of both the starting material (kaolin) and the final product (zeolite A) were carried out using powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transforms infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to confirm the formation of NaA-zeolite. From the characterization studies, it was found that high-purity NaA-zeolite can be produced from local kaolin. These findings enable us to answer the fundamental question regarding the structural characteristics of NaA-zeolites synthesized from Malaysian kaolin.

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