Go Back The Geochemistry of Akpanya Ironstone Deposit as A Secondary Raw Material in Ceramics Industry

The study area is within the Anambra basin and lies between 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1longitudes 7 05 and 7 25 N and latitudes 6 55 and 7 20 E. The area is completely overlain by the Nsukka Formation, which consists mainly of shales, sandstone, mudstone and occasional coal seams. The Akpanya ironstone is a sedimentary deposit and occurs within the sandstone member of the Nsukka Formation, which is of Maestrichtian age. The oolitic (<2mm) and pisolitic (>2mm) texture of the ironstone, the exclusively 3+F e -oxide assemblage (goethite-limonite-hematite) and the presence of cross-bedding strongly suggest that the ironstone was deposited in a shallow marine environment, under conditions of high Eh (+0.05 to +0.4) and moderate to high pH (7.2-8.5). The geochemical analyses of the ironstone deposit, using the techniques of Loss on Ignition and X-ray Flourescence show that the average composition (wt.%) of Fe O is 65.56% 2 3 and total Fe is 46.74% in Akpanya ironstone deposits. The richness of iron oxides and total iron in this deposit makes it highly desirable as an additive or secondary raw material in ceramic industry. Porcelains can be decorated using iron oxide by surface modifications, painting or transfer printing. The iron oxide particularly hematite gives red colouration to porcelain, when used as a decorating material. In addition, metals such as total Fe are used in high technology ceramic products that surpass earlier ceramics in strength, hardness and improved heat resistance. Generally, ironstones and banded iron formations are mainly used as a primary raw material in iron and steel industries.

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