Alum is a generic name for double salts of aluminium sulphate, sodium sulphate or ammonium sulphate. In the commercial line aluminium sulphate is also known as Alum. It is white in colour. The principal raw material for manufacturing of Alum are bauxite and sulphuric acid.
Alum, ferric (aluminium sulfate) is produced by the reaction of sulphuric acid on bauxite a naturally occurring hydrated alumina ore having the approximate formula Al2O3.2H2O.
They are usually the double salts of ammonium, potassium or sodium sulphate with aluminium. Chromium or iron sulphate, and are readily prepared by concentrating and cooling a solution containing molecular proportions of the component sulphate. Ferric and non – ferric alum is marketed in various grades. The cheapest grade called “alum cake”. Potash alum also known as alum alumen. Ferric alumin is aluminium sulphate containing iron obtained from the bauxite ore. Potash alum is prepared from its naturally occurring minerals such asalunite and ratinite.
The Al2O3 percentage should be 57-58% to produce A grade ferric alums. Technical grade sulphuric acid having concentration of 98.5% is used for the process. The spent sulphuric Acid which is 70% to 90% pure can also be used partially with 98.5% Acid.
Alum is a common name for aluminium sulphate. Used for purification of water, alum has a lot of applications – dying of fabrics, tanning of leather and in the paper industry.
Apart from household consumers, industrial consumption of alum in the country creates a continuous demand market that can only be satisfied with the establishment of small cottage industries in different parts of the country.
The main raw materials for alum manufacturing are bauxite and sulphuric acid, which can be sourced locally. Bauxite deposits occur in commercial quantities in Ondo, Cross River and Yobe states.
The proposed plant would comprise of Jaw Crusher, Elevators, Mill Feed Hopper with ratchet feeder, Ball Mill, Ground Bauxite Hopper with rotary Feeder, Screw Conveyor, Batch Hopper with Feed Control, Digestor, Settling Pits, Washing Pits, Filter press with Pump, Sludge Pump, Evaporators, Water Pump, Batch Acid Tank, Sulphuric Acid Pump, Sulphuric Acid Tank 98.4% purity, Water Tank, D M Water Tank, DM Water Pump, D M Water Plant, Condensate water tank, Flocculent Tank, Foundation frames, Ladders, Boiler System, Air Compressor, Moulds, Weigh Bridge, Laboratory ( without chemicals ), Electrical Panel, Capacitor Bank, Remote Push Buttos, Dust Collection System, Venturi Scrubber, ID Fan, Water Treatment Plant, Tube well, Tools and Tackles, Furnace Oil Tank and auto packing machine.
The product has a very good market as present, as this is extensively used in water purification (to a large extent by different water corporations), by the leather industries for tanning purposes and by the paper industries. It can also be used as a raw material for detergent cake manufacturing and also in several other products, if quality of Alum is properly controlled.
This feasibility report seeks to examine the financial viability or otherwise of establishing a ferric alum (Aluminium Sulphate) production plant in Nigeria.