The present work deals with the synthesis of kalsilite using material from a kaolinitic rock outcrop in Romana, Sassary Province, Sardinia, Italy.
The hydrothermal synthesis method required the dissolution of kaolin and Al(OH)3 in a KOH solution at a temperature of 190°C and 1.013 bar. Crystallization of kalsilite was confirmed at 12 h in association with kaliophilite H2 as a metastable phase.
The products of synthesis were fully characterized by powder X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy and 29Si nuclear magnetic resonance. The amorphous phase in the synthesis powders was estimated with quantitative phase analysis using the combined Rietveld and reference intensity ratio methods. Cell parameters and density were also calculated for the kalsilite. A potential application of kalsilite was investigated as a heterogeneous catalyst for biodiesel synthesis from sunflower oil used for frying.