Scanning Microscopy


Preparation and characterization techniques for the following particulate materials are reviewed: micromineralogical samples of bauxite, alumina and its trihydroxide, as well as sedimentary and respirable particles. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDS) and image analysis were used to characterize the microminerals of bauxite. Comparisons were made among micromineralogical samples with various grain size fractions and the degree of weathering could be quantified. Programs were developed for characterization of the sandy and floury types of aluminum trihydroxide and alumina. We have used backscattered electron SEM images to characterize the size and shape of various aluminum trihydroxides. Comparison could be made between sandy and floury types of aluminum trihydroxide/alumina samples and the effects of technological changes could be quantified. The shape and composition of respirable particles in alumina plants were studied from the point of view of environmental protection.

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