Although kaolin deposits can be found globally, from China to the UK, US, and Brazil, natural deposits with ideal “whiteness” characteristics are rare. To achieve the brightness or “whiteness” demanded by downstream industries, kaolin producers must use either flotation or selective flocculation during kaolin processing to remove color-causing minerals, often iron- or titanium-based, from deposits. Other impurities, such as carbonates and sand, can be removed with adequate sizing and washing.
Kaolin is often mined many miles from the kaolin processing plant; moving this mineral through pipelines is costly in energy and throughput. As with most mining applications, a large part of the processing water used is recycled water, thus requiring that a certain quality of water be obtained prior to reusing.
At Arkema, we produce process chemicals such as flotation reagents, collectors, and frothers developed specifically for kaolin processing to float undesired minerals and make the brightness or “whiteness” the market demands. Our high-grade cationic and anionic collectors are custom formulated based on your unique kaolin ore for use at your specific kaolin processing plant. Arkema rheology modifiers, dispersants, and flocculants are also used to achieve the desired rheological specification.