Abstract

The physicochemical and mineralogical characterization of the <250 μm particle-size fraction from six clay-rich samples from the Sabga deposit (north-west, Cameroon) were carried out to evaluate their potential applications. The major clay mineral is dioctahedral smectite and minor kaolinite is present in three of the clay samples. Cristobalite, feldspars, ilmenite and heulandite are accessory minerals. Application of the Greene-Kelly test revealed that the smectite present is montmorillonite. The chemical composition (wt.%) of the bulk clays consists of (66–70%) SiO2, (13–16%) Al2O3 and (2–7%) Fe2O3. Physico-chemical characterization of the clays showed that the cation exchange capacity (CEC) and the specific surface area range from 38 to 46 meq/100 g and from 33 to 90 m2/g respectively. The physical and chemical properties are fully compatible with potential uses in environmental applications. After purification and chemical modification, these materials could also be used in refining edible oil as adsorbent, waste water treatment and wine technology.

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