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Filed in Chemical Engineering Project Topics by on January 16, 2020 0 Comments




1.1Background of Study

SUITABILITY OF IKONO CLAY FOR SYNTHESIS OF ZEOLITE. Zeolites are crystalline minerals and synthesized materials, produced from low cost raw material such as clay; they are broadly present in nature and has been discovered by mankind for almost 250 years. Zeolite has also, been admitted with much importance in Chemical Engineering industries and academia due to its stability thermally and its activity catalytically, they are micro porous, alumino silicate minerals, with a crystalline structure joined by oxygen atoms (-Si-O-Al-), the high interest in zeolite synthesis from low-cost materials has promoted the development of various studies on the conversion of clay into zeolite materials. Currently, there are several identified unique frame works on zeolite and over 40 natural occurring zeolite frame works are known.  Many authors used natural clays as raw materials for zeolite synthesis. A kaolinite type of clay minerals has been used as the sources of alumina (Al) and silicate (Si) for the synthesis of several types of zeolites. Zeolite as hydrated aluminosilicate minerals have a net negative charge on their surface they are balanced by exchangeable cations (Ca2t and Nat) (Ibrahim., 2011) both the natural and synthetic zeolites are used in industries as adsorbents soil amendments(Ibrahim et al., 2011) . Also, zeolite is coined from a classical Greek word (zeo) means to ‘boil’ and (lithos) means “stone”, zeolite now exist on large amount in a various application. Zeolite is used majorly for ion exchangers in laundry detergents in which calcium and magnesium from water by exchanging it for sodium present in the zeolite. They are also useful highly for catalytic cracking known as fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) as catalyst in the chemical industries and petroleum refineries.

Zeolites are of various types such as aluminosilicates of the faujasite type started when Damour,(1848) published a chemical analysis of faujasite. Faujasite class of zeolite (zeolite X andY) they are known for outstanding stable and rigid structure with the large void space. This group of zeolite plays very important role in the unprecedented gasoline yield commonly obtain from the fluid catalytic cracking of gas oil. Also, faujasite type of zeolites have a regular opening hole of about 8Å, (Adefila etal., 2007) which is large enough to accommodate typical large molecules commonly found in gas oil, during catalytic cracking and refining operations.

Traditionally, zeolites are commonly produced from the hydro gels of sodium aluminate and silicate. However, production of zeolites from clay as a source of alumina and silica are being continuously researched for positive results based on; the silica-alumina ratio, reaction time, hydrodynamics, temperature and PH (alkalinity).

Previous attempt to produce zeolite Y from some part of Nigerian clay resulted in the formation of predominantly small pore sized zeolite D-type. The presence of the glass wares were believed to be responsible for the hindered synthesis of the targeted zeolite. In this research work, synthesis of zeolite from IKono clay as one of the Nigerian clays will be studied.

Faujasite (FAU) zeolite Y: This type zeolite (zeolite Y) exhibits the FAU structure. It has a 3-dimensional pore structure with pore running perpendicular to each other in the X, Y and Z planes similar to Linde type A (LTA). It is made up of secondary building units 4-6 and 6-6. Zeolite Y has a volume fraction of 0.48, with a Si/Al ratio of 2.43, its decomposed thermally at 798 void oc.

zeolite is usually synthesized under hydrothermal conditions from solutions of sodium aluminate. Sodium silicate or typical of those found in the earth’s crust where some Zeolite are found naturally. The first claim to a synthetic Zeolite appeared to be that of Sainte-Claire Deville in 1862 by Edoga etal, (2005) .The eagerness to develop Zeolite was sustained until 1948 when Milton and associate reported the existence of synthesised Zeolite which never existed before as minerals. One remarkably discovery from the work of Don Breck, (1974) was the revelation of the possibility of synthesizing Zeolite at very mild temperature ranging from room temperature and above.

Kaolin clay group, which is represented chemically as Al2O3SiO2·2H2O, is an important material used in the synthesis of Zeolite (Edoga etal., 2005).

1.2       Statement of Problem

Considering, how expensive it is, to import catalyst into the Nigerian refineries, It has become a problem to the economy of Nigeria, Therefore, the essence of this research work is to find out if Ikono clay is highly suited for the synthesis of zeolite and development as one of the Nigerian raw materials (clay) to be used as zeolite catalyst in the Nigerian chemical and petroleum industries. This will substitute the imported ones, and aid as a solution to the problem of importing zeolite catalyst.

1.3       Aim and Objectives


This project work, SUITABILITY OF IKONO CLAY FOR SYNTHESIS OF ZEOLITE aim at discovering the suitability of Ikono clay as one of the Nigerian clays for the synthesis of zeolite.


The objectives of the research SUITABILITY OF IKONO CLAY FOR SYNTHESIS OF ZEOLITE work are:

  1. To study the suitability of Ikono clay for synthesis of zeolite.
  2. To develop zeolite from Ikono clay.
  • To carry out characterization on the formulated material using XRF, XRD and SEM.

1.4       Justification of the research work

The development of the Faujasite zeolite from Ikono clay, Nigeria as catalyst in the fluid catalytic cracking units of our petroleum industry will safe cost of importation as well as provides job opportunities for Nigerians. This research will enable us develop local technology for catalyst synthesis using the abundant kaoline deposit at Ikono L.G.A of Akwa Ibom State.

1.5       Scope of Research 

This research work SUITABILITY OF IKONO CLAY FOR SYNTHESIS OF ZEOLITE is limited to the use of kaolinite clay from   Ikono L.G.A. for synthesis of zeolite and to characterize it using XRF, XRD and SEM.

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