Potassium Silicate Foliar Fertilizer Grade from Geothermal Sludge and Pyrophyllite
University of Pembangunan Nasional “Veteran” Jawa Timur Surabaya, Indonesia
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Potassium silicate fertilizer grade were successfully produced by direct fusion of silica (SiO2) and potasium (KOH and K2CO3) in furnaces at temperatures up to melting point of mixture. The geothermal sludge (98% SiO2) and the pyrophyllite (95% SiO2) were used as silica sources. The purposes of the study was to synthesise potassium silicate fertilizer grade having solids concentrations in the range of 31-37% K2O, and silica in the range of 48-54% SiO2. The weight ratio of silicon dioxide/potasium solid being 1:1 to 5:1. Silica from geothermal sludge is amorphous, whereas pyrophylite is crystalline phase. The results showed that the amount of raw materials needed to get the appropriate molar ratio of potassium silicate fertilizer grade are different, as well as the fusion temperature of the furnace. Potassium silicate prepared from potassium hydroxide and geothermal sludge produced a low molar ratio (2.5: 1 to 3: 1). The potassium required quite small (4:1 in weight ratio), and on a fusion temperature of about 900 °C. Meanwhile, the potassium silicate prepared from pyrophyllite produced a high molar ratio (1.4 - 9.4) and on a fusion temperature of about 1350 °C, so that potassium needed large enough to meet the required molar ratio for the fertilizer grade. The product potassium silicate solid is amorphous with a little trace of crystalline.
Key words: geothermal sludge / pyrophyllite / fusion reaction / potassium silicate solid / fertilizer
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