Special Issue "Industrial Minerals"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Mineral Deposits".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 September 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Maite Garcia-Valles
Website
Guest Editor
Universitat de Barcelona, Dpt. Mineralogia, Petrologia i Geologia Aplicada, Barcelona, Spain
Interests: industrial minerals; ceramics and glass-ceramic; bioceramics; glass; geopolymers; wastes recycling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Human history has developed in parallel with industrial minerals. They are part of our daily routines, and have a great impact on the world economy. Industrial minerals include minerals and rocks that, depending on their physical and chemical properties, are used, directly or with treatment, in the manufacturing of products, such as ceramics, glass, cement, biomaterials, geopolymers, and even in the recycling of wastes. These can become raw materials in some industrial process and reduce the extraction of other materials and, therefore, contribute to the so-called environmental ecology.

Given the large volume of materials used, it is necessary to know from where they can be exploited, their mineralogy and properties, in order to determine the most suitable application in each case.

The thermodynamic behavior of industrial minerals is critically important at the time of being processed since it entails important economic repercussions. Well-controlled mineral dynamics (changes in compositions of phases, textures, etc.) during industrial processing is necessary to optimize the product. Moreover, in the case of reused wastes, an exhaustive control of the neoformed minerals and the position in the structure of the toxic elements must be controlled to ensure their stability.

Prof. Dr. Maite Garcia-Valles
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Clays
  • zeolites
  • Borates
  • Feldspars
  • Carbonates
  • Phosphates
  • Ceramic
  • Biomaterials
  • Glass
  • Cement
  • Geopolymers

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Composition and Technological Properties of Clays for Structural Ceramics in Limpopo (South Africa)
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080700 - 07 Aug 2020
Abstract
This study evaluated the potential of raw clays from the Mukondeni region for structural ceramics and pottery based on traditional firing techniques. Physical properties were identified by particle size distribution, consistency limits, and clay activity. Mineralogical and chemical properties were investigated by X-ray [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the potential of raw clays from the Mukondeni region for structural ceramics and pottery based on traditional firing techniques. Physical properties were identified by particle size distribution, consistency limits, and clay activity. Mineralogical and chemical properties were investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF). Extruded clay bodies were fired at 900 °C. Technological characteristics were measured by weight loss (WL), bulk density (BD), dry linear shrinkage (DLS), fired linear shrinkage (FLS), water absorption (WA), and flexural strength (FS). The clays were low in <2 µm fractions (≤19%) and of medium to high plasticity with a clayey silt texture. Smectite was the dominant clay mineral while quartz and feldspar were major non clay minerals. The most abundant oxides were SiO2 (63.57–68.73%), Al2O3 (13.9–15.61%), and Fe2O3 (4.86–6.18%), whereas K2O, CaO, MgO, Na2O, TiO2, and P2O5 were depleted. Characterization based on the clay workability chart, Winkler’s diagram, and compositional ternary diagrams revealed acceptable extrusion properties and suitability for structural ceramics and earthenware. The clays showed acceptable WL, BD, LS, and WA, but unsatisfactory FS (≤1.08 MPa). Low mechanical strength was attributed to presence of smectites and inert nature of feldspar at 900 °C. Beneficiation through mixing with carbonate-rich raw materials is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Minerals)
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Open AccessArticle
Ladle Steel Slag in Activated Systems for Construction Use
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080687 - 31 Jul 2020
Abstract
The construction industry needs to reduce greenhouse gases, in which cement production is currently responsible for generating between 4% and 6% of the total CO2 released into the atmosphere. Similarly, many industries produce large amounts of solid waste, which often have low [...] Read more.
The construction industry needs to reduce greenhouse gases, in which cement production is currently responsible for generating between 4% and 6% of the total CO2 released into the atmosphere. Similarly, many industries produce large amounts of solid waste, which often have low value-added applications or are directly taken to landfills, with consequent negative environmental impacts. One of these industries is the steel industry, which in 2016 generated 18.4 Mt of slag (melting and refining slag) among all European Union countries. In terms of refining steel slag (ladle or white slag), it is estimated that for each ton of steel, between 20 and 30 kg of slag is produced; that is, in 2016, more than 700,000 tons of white slag were generated. It is also known that this material has cementitious properties and can be used as a precursor in alkaline activation processes. Depending on the concentrations used of the activating agent, a higher or lower mechanical performance of the developed materials can be obtained. This work studied the alkali activation of a ladle slag used to manufacture mortars, subjecting them to an initial curing of 24 h at different temperatures (20, 40, and 70 °C). Sodium silicate and sodium hydroxide were used as activating agents, using percentages of Na2O between 5% and 10% to obtain an optimal dosage of the activator. The physical and mechanical properties of the mortars were evaluated at different ages of curing. In addition, monitoring was undertaken of linear shrinkage due to drying and the mineralogical changes due to activation and curing time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Minerals)
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Open AccessArticle
Framework for Monitoring and Control of the Production of Calcined Kaolin
Minerals 2020, 10(5), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10050403 - 29 Apr 2020
Abstract
In response to the growing demand for sustainable products and services, the kaolin calcination industry is developing practices that optimise the use of resources. The main challenges include more efficient use of raw materials and a reduction in the energy consumed by the [...] Read more.
In response to the growing demand for sustainable products and services, the kaolin calcination industry is developing practices that optimise the use of resources. The main challenges include more efficient use of raw materials and a reduction in the energy consumed by the calcination furnace. An opportunity to achieve this lies in the optimisation of the calcination process. This can be done by giving real-time feedback on the quality parameters of the generated calcined kaolin. This study proposes the use of infrared spectroscopy as a monitoring technique to determine the chemical properties of the calcined kaolin product. The basis of the monitoring system is the measurement of the kaolin soluble alumina content as one of the most important quality parameters; this property is an indicator of the over- or under-use of raw materials and energy during the calcination process and can advise the operations regarding the optimisation of the working conditions of the furnace. The implementation of an infrared-based monitoring system would lead to increased efficiency in the production of calcined kaolin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Minerals)
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Open AccessArticle
Mineralogical and Geochemical Characterization of Talc from Two Mexican Ore Deposits (Oaxaca and Puebla) and Nine Talcs Marketed in Mexico: Evaluation of Its Cosmetic Uses
Minerals 2020, 10(5), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10050388 - 26 Apr 2020
Abstract
The detailed mineralogical, physical and chemical characterization of nine samples of imported cosmetic talc and of two samples of talc from currently non-productive Mexican ore deposits (Oaxaca and Puebla States) is presented. The imported cosmetic talc was classified into two groups, considering whether [...] Read more.
The detailed mineralogical, physical and chemical characterization of nine samples of imported cosmetic talc and of two samples of talc from currently non-productive Mexican ore deposits (Oaxaca and Puebla States) is presented. The imported cosmetic talc was classified into two groups, considering whether they are packed in the country of origin or in Mexico and considering their price. X-ray diffraction, infrared short wave, thermogravimetric analysis and scanning electron microscopy were used for mineralogical characterization. For the physical characterization, colorimetry and laser granulometry were used. The chemical composition (major, trace elements) was studied by ICP-MS. It was concluded that only the highest priced and imported in packaged form talcs meet the specific purity requirements for a talc of cosmetic type. The talcs that are packed in Mexico and the talc of the studied Mexican deposits present mineralogical and chemical impurities that make their use difficult in the manufacture of high-quality cosmetic talc. The low-price talc should not be sold as cosmetic talc, and the regulations in Mexico on this subject should be reviewed and updated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Minerals)
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Open AccessArticle
Mineralogical and Thermal Characterization of Kaolinitic Clays from Terra Alta (Catalonia, Spain)
Minerals 2020, 10(2), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10020142 - 07 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This research characterizes the kaolinitic clays from Cretaceous–Paleocene lateritic deposits of Terra Alta (south Catalonia) to evaluate their possible applications. The outcrops and quarries belong to the Horta de Sant Joan and Pinell de Brai areas. The chemical composition, mineralogy, rheological behavior, particle [...] Read more.
This research characterizes the kaolinitic clays from Cretaceous–Paleocene lateritic deposits of Terra Alta (south Catalonia) to evaluate their possible applications. The outcrops and quarries belong to the Horta de Sant Joan and Pinell de Brai areas. The chemical composition, mineralogy, rheological behavior, particle size distribution and plasticity are determined. The Fe and Ti4+ contents prevent them from being directly used as raw material for white ceramics. The mineralogy consists of kaolinite with quartz, illite, hematite, and minor K-feldspar and calcite. Most of the area comprises medium plastic clays that are classified as fired clays and can be used as ceramic and construction materials. In Horta de Sant Joan, a kaolinitic-rich level, up to 75 wt % of kaolinite, is highly crystalline with low plasticity and can be classified as flint clay, useful as a refractory clay. The evaluated kaolinitic clays can also be used to obtain a triaxial ceramic when they are mixed with feldspar to act as a fluxing agent and chamotte. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Minerals)
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Open AccessArticle
Mineralogical Characterization of Dolomitic Aggregate Concrete: The Camarasa Dam (Catalonia, Spain)
Minerals 2020, 10(2), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10020117 - 29 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The Camarasa Dam was built in 1920 using dolomitic aggregate and Portland cement with two different compositions: type A (dolomite and Portland cement) and type B (dolomite and sand-cement). The sand cement was a finely powdered mixture of dolomite particles and clinker of [...] Read more.
The Camarasa Dam was built in 1920 using dolomitic aggregate and Portland cement with two different compositions: type A (dolomite and Portland cement) and type B (dolomite and sand-cement). The sand cement was a finely powdered mixture of dolomite particles and clinker of Portland cement. The mineralogy of concrete was studied by optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and x-ray powder diffraction. Reaction of dedolomitization occurred in the two types of concrete of the Camarasa Dam, as demonstrated by the occurrence of calcite, brucite, and/or absence of portlandite. In the type A concrete, calcite, brucite, and a serpentine-group mineral precipitated as a rim around the dolomite grains and in the paste. The rims, a product of the dedolomitization reaction, protected the surface of dolomite from the dissolution process. In type B concrete, in addition to dolomite and calcite, quartz and K-feldspar were present. Brucite occurred in lower amounts than in the type A concrete as fibrous crystals randomly distributed in the sand-cement paste. Although brucite content was higher in the type A concrete, type B showed more signs of loss of durability. This can be attributed to the further development of the alkali-silica reaction in this concrete type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Minerals)
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Open AccessArticle
Geological Prospection of Placer Chromium Deposits in the Waropen Regency—Indonesia (New Guinea) Using the Method of Indicator Minerals
Minerals 2020, 10(2), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10020094 - 22 Jan 2020
Abstract
Indicator minerals (IM) have been used in the research of gemstone and base metals for over 100 years. IMs are a main source of information about the occurrence of deposits, hydrothermal and weathering changes, as well as bedrock source and type. Since 2013, [...] Read more.
Indicator minerals (IM) have been used in the research of gemstone and base metals for over 100 years. IMs are a main source of information about the occurrence of deposits, hydrothermal and weathering changes, as well as bedrock source and type. Since 2013, base metal mineral exploration has taken place on New Guinea Island (the Indonesian part). The analysis of chromian spinels as IM in beach and river sediments led to the discovery of rich chromian-bearing deposits in the Botawa River sediments. The dominant detrital minerals include chromian spinels, olivine, pyroxenes and serpentine. The source of chromian spinels, olivine and pyroxenes are most likely peridotites from the Earth’s mantle zone of the ophiolite series, generated under supra-subduction conditions. The terrigenous deposits contain metamorphic minerals, such as staurolites, andalusites, epidotes, amphiboles and fragments of micas, quartz and chlorite schists. Using ICP-MS analysis of the beach sands, the concentration of Cr2O3 was determined to be at the level of 1.17%, while in the heavy minerals concentrate from the Botawa River sediment, the content of Cr2O3 amounts to 24.83%. The authors conclude that the west parts of the Van Rees Mountains are the probable parent rocks for chromium-bearing sediments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Minerals)
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Open AccessArticle
Application of Supervised Machine-Learning Methods for Attesting Provenance in Catalan Traditional Pottery Industry
Minerals 2020, 10(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10010008 - 20 Dec 2019
Abstract
The traditional pottery industry was an important activity in Catalonia (NE Spain) up to the 20th century. However, nowadays only few workshops persist in small villages were the activity is promoted as a touristic attraction. The preservation and promotion of traditional pottery in [...] Read more.
The traditional pottery industry was an important activity in Catalonia (NE Spain) up to the 20th century. However, nowadays only few workshops persist in small villages were the activity is promoted as a touristic attraction. The preservation and promotion of traditional pottery in Catalonia is part of an ongoing strategy of tourism diversification that is revitalizing the sector. The production of authenticable local pottery handicrafts aims at attracting cultivated and high-purchasing power tourists. The present paper inspects several approaches to set up a scientific protocol based on the chemical composition of both raw materials and pottery. These could be used to develop a seal of quality and provenance to regulate the sector. Six Catalan villages with a renowned tradition of local pottery production have been selected. The chemical composition of their clays and the corresponding fired products has been obtained by Energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF). Using the obtained geochemical dataset, a number of unsupervised and supervised machine learning methods have been applied to test their applicability to define geochemical fingerprints that could allow inter-site discrimination. The unsupervised approach fails to distinguish samples from different provenances. These methods are only roughly able to divide the different provenances in two large groups defined by their different SiO2 and CaCO3 concentrations. In contrast, almost all the tested supervised methods allow inter-site discrimination with accuracy levels above 80%, and accuracies above 85% were obtained using a meta-model combining all the predictive supervised methods. The obtained results can be taken as encouraging and demonstrative of the potential of the supervised approach as a way to define geochemical fingerprints to track or attest the provenance of samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Minerals)
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Open AccessArticle
Mineralogical Diversity of Ca2SiO4-Bearing Combustion Metamorphic Rocks in the Hatrurim Basin: Implications for Storage and Partitioning of Elements in Oil Shale Clinkering
Minerals 2019, 9(8), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9080465 - 30 Jul 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
This is the first attempt to provide a general mineralogical and geochemical survey of natural Ca2SiO4-bearing combustion metamorphic (CM) rocks produced by annealing and decarbonation of bioproductive Maastrichtian oil shales in the Hatrurim Basin (Negev Desert, Israel). We present [...] Read more.
This is the first attempt to provide a general mineralogical and geochemical survey of natural Ca2SiO4-bearing combustion metamorphic (CM) rocks produced by annealing and decarbonation of bioproductive Maastrichtian oil shales in the Hatrurim Basin (Negev Desert, Israel). We present a synthesis of data collected for fifteen years on thirty nine minerals existing as fairly large grains suitable for analytical examination. The Hatrurim Ca2SiO4-bearing CM rocks, which are natural analogs of industrial cement clinker, have been studied comprehensively, with a focus on several key issues: major- and trace-element compositions of the rocks and their sedimentary precursors; mineral chemistry of rock-forming phases; accessory mineralogy; incorporation of heavy metals and other trace elements into different phases of clinker-like natural assemblages; role of trace elements in stabilization/destabilization of Ca2SiO4 polymorphic modifications; mineralogical diversity of Ca2SiO4-bearing CM rocks and trace element partitioning during high-temperature–low-pressure anhydrous sintering. The reported results have implications for mineral formation and element partitioning during high-temperature–low-pressure combustion metamorphism of trace element-loaded bituminous marine chalky sediments (“oil shales”) as well as for the joint effect of multiple elements on the properties and hydration behavior of crystalline phases in industrial cement clinkers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Minerals)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

 

 

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