Assessment of soda ash calcination treatment of Turkish trona ore
1 Republic of Turkey Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Nuclear Energy Project Implementation Department, Ankara, Turkey
2 Middle East Technical University, Mining Engineering Department, Ankara, Turkey
a Corresponding author: email@example.com
Trona is relatively rare, non-metallic mineral, Na2CO3 · NaHCO3 · 2H2O. The pure material contains 70.3% sodium carbonate and by calcination the excess CO2 and water can be driven off, yielding natural soda ash. The terms soda ash and sodium carbonate are used interchangeably. Trona calcining is a key process step in production of soda ash (sodium carbonate anhydrate) from the relatively cheap trona ore. The calcination reaction may proceeds in a sequence of steps. Depending on the conditions, it may result in formation of either sodium carbonate monohydrate (Na2CO3 · H2O), sodium sesquicarbonate or weigschederite (Na2CO3 · 3NaHCO3). The Beypazarı Turkish trona deposit is the second largest deposit in the world with the content of 84% trona. The decomposition of trona appeared to be a single stage process across the temperature range studied (150-200 °C) with the representative samples of different size fractions in the draught up metallurgical furnace. The optimum particle size and calcination time were −6.35 mm and 30 minutes, respectively, at calcination temperature of 175 °C in a metallurgical furnace. Microwave-induced dry calcination of trona was possible and 5 minutes of calcination time at a power level of 900 was sufficient for complete calcination of −6.35 mm feed. This includes short time calcinations with the goal of improving economics and simplifying the thermal process.
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