SYNTHESIS OF ZEOLITE P USING COPPER MINING TAILINGS
Synthesis of zeolite P using copper mine tailing as raw material was achieved by means of two steps in the process: fusion with NaOH and hydrothermal treatment. The copper mine tailing was calcined at 900° C during 2 hours in a 1:1.5 (w/w) ratio. Then, hydrothermal treatment was applied at 60° C in a 0.172 g/mL ratio. Several times of synthesis were evaluated, 2, 4, 8, 16, 24, 36, 48, 60, 66 and 72 hours. According to the Cationic Exchange Capacity (CEC), 36 hours of time was selected as optimal time. A zeolitic material with 93.77% of zeolite P and 3.85% of cancrinite was obtained with a CEC=2.016 meq/g. The CEC obtained is an excellent value to remove heavy metals presents in water and soils. The use of copper mine tailing to synthesize zeolites is a friendly environmental option to prevent the generation of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). Moreover, the synthesized zeolites have great potential for use in the wastewater treatment to remove heavy metals and ammonium.
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