Calcination Behaviour of Nsuta Rhodochrosite Ore in the Presence and Absence of End-of-Life High Density Polyethylene


  • James Ransford Dankwah University of Mines and Technology
  • Kwaku Ohene Nimako
  • Andrew Dwumfour
  • Kenneth Mensah
  • Pramod Koshy


This research investigated the calcination behaviour of the Nsuta Rhodochrosite (MnCO3) in the presence and absence of end-of-life high density polyethylene (HDPE) using a custom-made palm kernel shell fired furnace. Samples of pulverised Nsuta rhodochrosite were heated rapidly for 30, 40, 50 and 60 minutes, coupled with temperature measurements to determine the maximum temperature attained in the fireclay crucible. The procedure at 60 min was repeated using three blends of rhodochrosite samples containing different masses of HDPE (30 g, 40 g and 50 g) and heated for an hour. For gas analyses studies during calcination, cylindrical compacts of rhodochrosite ore in a LECOTM crucible were heated rapidly with and without high density polyethylene (HDPE at C/O ratio = 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0) in a horizontal tube furnace for 600 s at 1150 °C under high purity argon gas and the off gas was continuously analysed for CH4, CO and CO2 using an online infrared gas analyser. The content of H2 in the offgas was detected using a GC3 gas chromatographic analyser equipped with a thermal conductivity detector. The Nsuta rhodochrosite ore was found to consist of a mixture of manganese II carbonate (MnCO3), silica (SiO2), mixed transition metal carbonate of the form Ca(Mn, Mg)(CO3)2 and mixed metal silicate of the form Ca0.6Mg1.94Si2O6. Calcination results indicated visible colour changes (from grey to dark brown), along with significant changes in the mass before and after calcination. In the absence and presence of the polymer, measured temperatures in the crucible ranged from 1001 °C to 1366 °C and 1361 °C to 1369 °C, respectively. Analyses by XRF showed marginal increase in the content of Mn in the calcined ore with HDPE addition. Gas analyses indicate that blending the carbonate with HDPE before heating results in significant decrease in the amount of CO2 emitted

Author Biography

James Ransford Dankwah, University of Mines and Technology

Associate Professor and Head, Minerals Engineering Department