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High-Temperature Transformation of Asbestos Tailings by Carbothermal Reduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2024

Zhao-Hui Huang
School of Materials Science and Technology, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, P.R. China
Wen-Juan Li
School of Materials Science and Technology, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, P.R. China
Zi-He Pan
School of Materials Science and Technology, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, P.R. China
Yan-Gai Liu
School of Materials Science and Technology, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, P.R. China
Ming-Hao Fang*
School of Materials Science and Technology, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, P.R. China
*E-mail address of corresponding author:


The production and industrial use of asbestos cement and other asbestos-containing materials have been restricted in most countries because of the potential detrimental effects on human health and the environment. Chrysotile is the most common form of asbestos and investigations into how to recycle this serpentine phyllosilicate mineral have attracted extensive attention. Chrysotile asbestos tailings can be transformed thermally, at high temperature, by in situ carbothermal reduction (CR). The CR method aims to maximize use of the chrysotile available and uses high temperatures and carbon to change the mineral form and structure of the chrysotile asbestos tailings. When chrysotile asbestos is employed as the raw material and coke (carbon) powder is used as the reducing agent for CR transformation, stable, high-temperature composites consisting of forsterite, stishovite, and silicon carbide are formed. Forsterite (Mg2SiO4) was the most abundant crystalline phase formed in samples heat treated below 1500ºC. At 1600ºC, forsterite was exhausted through decomposition and β-SiC formed by reduction of stishovite. A larger proportion of β-SiC was generated as the carbon content was increased. This research revealed that both temperature and carbon addition play key roles in the transformation of chrysotile asbestos tailings.

Research Article
Copyright © The Clay Minerals Society 2013

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