Magnesiothermic Reduction of Natural Quartz
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonMetallurgical and Materials Transactions B, 2022, 1-11. 10.1007/s11663-022-02513-6
In the current work, the metallothermic reduction of natural quartz by magnesium has been studied at 1373 K under different reaction conditions, i.e. quartz type, quartz particle size, Mg:SiO2 mole ratio and reaction time. The microstructure of reaction products was studied to illustrate the reaction progression through scanning and transmission electron microscopy techniques. X-ray diffraction analysis with Rietveld phase quantification was used to calculate the change in the amount of phases at different reaction conditions. The results showed that the Mg:SiO2 mole ratio strongly affects reaction mechanism and product characteristics such as phase content and microstructure. At lower Mg:SiO2 mole ratios, the reaction rate is fast at the beginning and the formation of a product layer consisting of different phases such as MgO, Si, Mg2Si, Mg2SiO4 and MgSiO3 around quartz particles limits the Mg diffusion. This phenomenon is more noticeable for larger quartz particle sizes where Mg should diffuse longer distance towards the quartz core to react with it. At higher Mg:SiO2 mole ratios, a significant amount of Si–Mg liquid alloy is formed during reaction where the high mobility of Mg in this liquid phase and cracking of quartz particles result in significantly higher reaction rate. Here the formation of intermediate phases is not significant and the products would be the mixture of MgO, Mg2Si, and either Si or Mg phases.