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An innovative process for the production of high surface area materials from natural acid clays and bentonite by organic acid treatment

Objective



Objectives and content
World-wide, 600.000 tonnes of acid activated clays are
produced annually. 60 % of these are consumed in the
food industry, for refining of edible oils and fats,
(bleaching earth), while the rest are used in various
other industries, like mineral oil industry, chemical
industry and in environmental applications. For the
production of activated clays high quality bentonite raw
materials are treated with inorganic acids, like HCl or
H2SO4. The most important problems related to the
production of activated clays are (a) the use of
inorganic acids, causing serious environmental problems,
due to the residual acidity and the metal cations
contained in the effluents (b) the selection of special
quality and expensive appropriate raw materials, as not
all types of bentonite are amenable to acid activation.
In order to eliminate the disadvantages of the current
industrial practice the application of an innovative
technology based on the treatment of natural acid clays
and bentonites by organic acids is proposed to be
examined.
The industrial objectives of the proposal are:
to develop an innovative, cost effective and
environmentally friendly technology for the treatment of
natural acid clays and bentonites by organic acids.
to produce high surface area materials from natural
acid clays and bentonites of similar or superior quality
to those produced by the inorganic acid treatment.
to exploit the natural acid clay deposits found in
various parts of Europe which have remained so far
unexploited.
to study the amenability of low quality bentonites to
organic acid activation.
The expected achievements are: enhancing the competitive
position of the European companies in a 240 MECU market,
exploitation of mineral resources in the EU, development
of an environmentally friendly mineral processing
technology for the long term protection of the ecosystem
and the health of the human population. The generic
nature of the project will allow application of the
results to a wide number of natural acid clay and
bentonite deposits. As case studies, samples from
representative deposits in Greece, Italy and Germany will
be processed.
The project consortium is highly complementary as it
comprises three of the most important bentonite and clay
producers in Europe and world-wide, three of the biggest
acid activated clays consumers in Europe (end-users), one
academic institute highly experienced in industrial
mineral processing and effluent treatment and one
research institute expert in the physicochemical
characterisations of the products involved.
The proposed project is highly consistent with the
European materials research work programme. An advanced
process with low environmental impact and at lower cost
will be developed to produce high quality industrial
products for existing and new applications.

Coordinator

S AND B INDUSTRIAL MINERALS S.A.
Address
23,Agias Annis Street 23
18233 Pireas
Greece

Participants (6)

Bundesanstalt für Getreide- Kartoffel- und Fettforschung
Germany
Address
68,Piusallée
48147 Münster
Elais Oleaginous Products SA
Greece
Address
74,Athinon - Pireos Str.
18510 Piraeus
Laviosa Chimica Mineraria SpA
Italy
Address
20,Via Galvani
57123 Livorno
NATIONAL TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS
Greece
Address
Zographou Campus
15780 Athens
Neusser Oel und Fett AG
Germany
Address
36-40,Industriestrasse
41460 Neuss
S&B INDUSTRIAL MINERALS GMBH
Germany
Address
78,Schmielenfeldstrasse 78
45772 Marl