CHARACTERISTICS OF SOME RIVER BED SANDS AND THEIR SUITABILITY FOR MAKING COLOURLESS GLASS
While it is pertinent to note that sharp sand is a representation of a high energy environmental deposit of river and tidal channels activities in the Niger Delta Area, gravimetric methods were used for the characteristics of some river bed sands from various river locations in River Niger, Wilbros dockyard, Port Harcourt, Ughelli River, Ubangwe River, River Ethiope, in Abraka and Sapele, Ikpoba River and the Ogedegbe River all in Nigeria and their suitability for the making of colourless glass were analyzed. Gravimetric methods were used to determine the Loss on Ignition (LoI), Silica (SiO2) and fusion were examined. The separation method was used in the determination of R2O3 and Fe2O3 Compounds. Grain size distribution analysis and the beneficiation and up gradation of samples were also examined. The silica sand samples were randomly collected in duplicate from the flowing point of the river and at position of approximately 20cm below the surface water level at an interval of 100meters. The results of the analyses revealed that silicon dioxide (SiO2) formed the predominant metal oxide in the entire samples. . However further beneficiation of the obtained silica sand samples revealed an increase in SiO2 with a decrease in iron (Fe2O3) content, thus implying that the samples can be used for glass making. Grain size distribution analysis revealed that a high percentage of the samples grains size distribution fraction were within the recommended screen sizes (40-100 mesh). Results obtained indicated that majority of the sands met the specification for Grade C and under British standard for colourless glass and just slightly fell short for the Grades A and B specifications and they also met the specification for the American standard for second and third quality flint glasses. Hence, it is time the federal government, nongovernmental organization, private individual and other stake holders to partners with stake holders in the region to take advantage of the availability of the minerals in the region to establish medium enterprises and firm, which in turn, will not only help engage the youth, nor potentially reduce the tension in the region or to generate revenue for government especially in these period of economic meltdown, but will also help diversify the Nigerian economy and reduce the country dependency on oil.
|Keywords: Silica, Quartz, Sand, River Bed, Loss On Ignition, Gravimetric Method, Chemical.|
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