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Electrostatic Charges on Clays

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3 Author(s)
Ion I. Inculet ; University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada N6A 5B9. ; Robert M. Quigley ; Ernest M. J. Beisser

Cation charges present on the surfaces of clay minerals are expected to play a major role in industrial processes involving dry electrostatic separation of granular mixtures containing clay particles. A recent promising potential application has been the removal of clay from British Columbia pulverized coals prior to burning. The clay minerals kaolinite and montmorillonite form the main component of the ash in most Canadian coals: kaolinite is eastern coals and montmorillonite in western coals. The electric charges present on the surfaces of the clay mineral kaolinite have been analyzed from an application point of view, namely, for their ability to transfer onto and remain on other surfaces after contact and separation. Kaolinite samples homoionized with calcium and sodium were prepared from natural kaolin, and the charge transfer after contact and separation with coal was compared for various dry densities of the kaolinite. The results show the following. 1) The electric charge transfer from calcium kaolinite is substantially larger than that from both the sodium kaolinite and natural kaolinite. Charge transfer from untreated montmorillonite exceeds that from all kaolinite samples. 2) The charge transfer after 100 contacts is inversely proportional to the dry density of the clay on a semilog scale. The phenomenon is believed to be related to the changes which occur in the total contact area and in the electrical conductivity of the clay.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications  (Volume:IA-21 ,  Issue: 1 )