Fine sediments, result of sand processing, are disposed in sedimentation ponds and constitute an import mining residue, being continuously produced in large volumes. With increasing national demand for aggregates, searching for an alternative use for these wastes is necessary. In this context, zeolite synthesis could be used as a mean of recycling these sediments to produce technological material and also preserving the environment. Synthetic zeolites have less impurities and can be produced with constant volume and pore dimensions, with properties tailored to specific applications (i.e. molecular sieves, adsorbents, cation exchangers and catalysts), in contrast with natural ones. This research project aims to the test the synthesis viability from sand mining wastes, and also determine the appropriatepretreatment conditions for this source material. To achieve this goal, the material will have it's chemical and mineralogical composition determined and then will be subjected to alkaline fusion, followed by a hydrothermal treatment. Varied crystallization time and temperature conditions will be applied to determine the combinations that enhance synthesis efficiency, in respect to energy consumption and proportion of zeolite material obtained. The output material will be characterized by X Ray Diffraction and Scanning Electron Microscopy.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: