Characterization of Portuguese diatomites in order to assess potential applications

C. Costa, A. Velosa, Â. Cerqueira, P. S. Caetano, F. Rocha

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Diatomite is a siliceous sedimentary rock, and it can be used in many industrial applications due to its high porosity, low density porous and permeable structure, chemical resistance, high purity, high specific surface area, absorptive capacity and to its absorbent properties. The best known Portuguese occurrences of diatomite are located in the regions of Óbidos and Rio Maior. The purpose of this research is to characterize the Rio Maior and Amieira diatomite and beneficiate this rock to be used in some potential applications locally or not. The studied diatomites present a fine texture; chemically the samples have a high SiO2 content, the principal minerlas are quartz and amorphous opal. The studied diatomites benefited with temperature and addition of NaCl (acting as accelerator of the crystallization process), with 5 % of NaCl being reduced the transformation temperature of the amorphous opal in opal C / CT at about 200 ºC. The diatomites from Rio Maior and Amieira in natural state has an enormous potential as absorbent, of heavy metals (e.g. in soil contamination) or dyes (textile industry). These diatomites after beneficiation can be used in construction materials (as additive), being more reactive and crystalline than in the natural state, diatomites can be promoters of mechanical resistance in mortars and geopolymers. © 2018, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. All right reserved.
Original languageUnknown
JournalActa Geodynamica et Geomaterialia
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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