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Industries & Applications

Barite

ST Equipment & Technology Barite SeparationBarite is the primary, naturally occurring, barium-based mineral. Barium, atomic number 56, derives its name from Greek and means heavy. Barite is also known as baryte, and in Missouri is known as “tiff”. The primary countries in which commercial deposits of barite are currently found are the United States, China, India and Morocco. Barite’s high density and chemical inertness make it an ideal mineral for many applications.

 

The chemical formula for barite is BaSO4. It has a high specific gravity of 4.50 g/cm3. Its Mohs hardness is 3.0 to 3.5. Barite, which may be found in a variety of colors including yellow, brown, white, blue, gray, or even colorless, typically has a vitreous to pearly luster.

Barite may be found in conjunction with both metallic and nonmetallic mineral deposits. To be economically viable for extraction, barite usually needs to be the predominant material in a deposit. The types of deposits in which it is normally found include vein, residual, and bedded. Vein and residual deposits are of hydrothermal origin, while bedded deposits are sedimentary.

Major deposits in the United States have been found in Georgia, Missouri, Nevada and Tennessee. In Canada, the mineral has been mined in the Yukon Territory, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. In Mexico, barite deposits have been discovered in Hermosillo, Pueblo, Monterrey and Durango.

Drilling Industry:

The overwhelming majority of the barite that is mined is used by the petroleum industry as a weighting material in the formulation of drilling mud. Barite increases the hydrostatic pressure of the drilling mud allowing it to compensate for high-pressure zones experienced during drilling. The softness of the mineral also prevents it from damaging drilling tools during drilling and enables it to serve as a lubricant. The American Petroleum Institute (API) has established specifications for the use of barite in drilling mud.

Medical Industry:

An application where many people have heard of barite is within the medical field. A high-purity form of barite is used in the gastrointestinal tract where its density prevents x-ray penetration, and thus is visible on an x-ray. The outline of the gastrointestinal tract thus becomes visible allowing the determination of normal and abnormal anatomy.

Fly Ash

Fly Ash is a byproduct produced from burning pulverized coal in electric power generating plants. Its chemical components vary, but most often include oxides of silicon (SiO2), aluminum (Al2O3), iron and calcium (CaO).

The primary question surrounding fly ash is what to do with it. Disposing of Fly Ash has its issues. Most of it is dumped in holding lagoons or landfills. Because Fly Ash contains heavy metals there is a concern that it could leach into the soil or escape into the air if the lagoons rupture. Fortunately, Fly Ash is a pozzolan, which is a material that that serves as a cement when mixed with lime and water. Recycled Fly Ash has several industrial uses; as the prime material in asphalt, bricks, blocks, paints, tiles and backfill. Because it reacts chemically with calcium hydroxide which is released when cement and water are mixed the most noteworthy use is as a replacement for Portland cement in concrete. Recycled Fly Ash is an environmentally friendly product used to improve the strength of the concrete.

Fly Ash uses less water than Portland cement, thus it is easier to use in cold weather. Additional benefits to using Fly Ash as a replacement of Portland cement are;

  • Fly Ash is considered a non-shrink material
  • Fly Ash produces denser concrete and a smoother surface with sharper detail
  • Fly Ash reduces cracking in concrete
  • Fly Ash reduces bleeding and permeability
  • Fly Ash allows for different concrete set times
  • Fly Ash allows concrete to be cold weather resistant
  • Fly Ash allows concrete to be more resistant to chemical erosion
  • Fly Ash in concrete reduces CO2 emissions.

ST Equipment & Technology Processed Fly Ash

Applications

The ST separation technology greatly expands the range of materials that can be beneficiated by electrostatic processes. In general, the ST technology can be applied to any dry mixture of materials as long as:

  • It is composed of discrete particles
  • There are differences in surface chemistry among the materials
  • The mineral phases are liberated from each other, either naturally, or through grinding

The actual performance and value creation of the ST separator depends on several complex effects, including but not limited to:

  • Particle chemistry and shape
  • Surface moisture
  • Level of surface contaminants

Paper, Plastics, Paints, and Coatings:

Calcium carbonate is the most widely used mineral in the paper, plastics, paints and coatings industries both as a filler – and due to its special white color – as a coating pigment. In the paper industry it is valued worldwide for its high brightness and light scattering characteristics, and is used as an inexpensive filler to make bright opaque paper. Filler is used at the wet-end of paper making machines, and calcium carbonate filler allows for the paper to be bright and smooth. As an extender, calcium carbonate can represent as much as 30% by weight in paints. Calcium carbonate also is used widely as a filler in adhesives, and sealants.

Personal Health and Food Production:

Calcium carbonate is used widely as an effective dietary calcium supplement, antacid, phosphate binder, or base material for medicinal tablets. It also is found on many grocery store shelves in products such as baking powder, toothpaste, dry-mix dessert mixes, dough, and wine. Calcium carbonate is the active ingredient in agricultural lime, and is used in animal feed. Calcium carbonate also benefits the environment through water and waste treatment.

Building Materials and Construction:

Calcium carbonate is critical to the construction industry, both as a building material in its own right (e.g. marble), and as an ingredient of cement. It contributes to the making of mortar used in bonding bricks, concrete blocks, stones, roofing shingles, rubber compounds, and tiles. Calcium carbonate decomposes to form carbon dioxide and lime, an important material in making steel, glass, and paper. Because of its antacid properties, calcium carbonate is used in industrial settings to neutralize acidic conditions in both soil and water.