Synthesis and Characterization of Α-Ferric Oxide from Local Iron Ore in Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Ethiopia has a huge deposits of iron ore and 𝛼-ferric oxide, (𝛼-Fe2O3) has received great interest and extensively used in agriculture, chemical industries, paint industries, as catalysts, magnetic materials, gas sensors, lithium-ion batteries and waste water treatment plants. Therefore, this study is to synthesize 𝛼-ferric oxide from local iron ore in Ethiopia. Iron ore samples has been studied from two different regions (Sekota and Axum) and characterized in geological survey of Ethiopia laboratory with the grade of 46.56% and 65.81% of iron oxide composition found from Sekota and Axum respectively. The sample from Axum was reacted with hydrochloric acid and ammonium hydroxide by fluctuating three process variables: particle size, calcination temperature and calcination time. The effect of these different particle size (0.125mm – 2mm), calcination temperature (500 – 600 °C) and calcination time (90 – 150 minutes) towards the yield of 𝛼-ferric oxide, (𝛼-Fe2O3) synthesis were investigated by using design of expert (DOE) version 12.0 software and Box-Behnken design method. Based on analysis of variance (ANOVA), the determination coefficient, R2 obtained was 0.9878. Optimization processing condition that synthesizes highest yield of 77.103 % was at particle size (<0.125mm), calcination temperature (500 °C) and calcination time, (126.73 minutes). Characterization of 𝛼-ferric oxide, (𝛼-Fe2O3) powder samples were investigated by means of numerous characterization methods like; X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD), Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) and Major and minor oxide analysis. From FTIR spectrum Iron-oxide group (Fe-O) and atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) were found. The characteristic peak occurring at 2θ = 33.4° indicated presence of 𝛼-Fe2O3 in the samples with 14 nm particle size. The synthesized particles confirmed 91.56% of Fe2O3 by Major and minor oxide analysis which is acceptable purity. Last of all, From the result it is conceivable to say that producing of such chemical from local raw materials can help as upbringing idea for next studies.



Iron Ores, α-Ferric Oxide