Detection of factors that determine the quality of industrial minerals: An infrared sensor-based approach for mining and process control

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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Industrial minerals are essential to human activity. The products derived from them make an integral part of a wide range of materials that are ubiquitously present in our daily lives. The performance and attributes of these materials depend significantly on the properties and quality of the industrial minerals and the products generated from them. These characteristics are ensured by the selection and mining of adequate ores, and by using various beneficiation and processing strategies to modify or enhance the original properties of the minerals.
One example of these strategies is calcination, in which the minerals are subject to thermal treatment. The success of the generation of high-quality products by using this technique partly depends on the capability of the plant to detect the factors that can degrade the quality of the raw ore, feed for calcination and final product. It also depends on its ability to inform and adapt the operations according to the presence of such factors. A possible approach for doing this is to characterise the minerals and materials with sensor technologies that can generate information on-site and in real-time, focusing on the identification of the degrading factors. Their timely detection can give operational feedback to the process and aid in the generation of high-quality products.
This Thesis aims to develop methods for the detection of factors that determine the quality of industrial mineral products by using data derived from infrared sensors, which have the potential to be implemented in mining and process control. For doing this, kaolin, perlite and diatomite have been selected as commodities that are relevant to the market and that represent different applications. This research shows the capacity of infrared sensor-based technologies to retrieve information, directly or indirectly, about the factors that affect the quality of industrial minerals at a lower cost and with comparable efficiency to other analytical methods.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Buxton, M.W.N., Supervisor
  • Jansen, J.D., Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date15 Oct 2019
Print ISBNs978-94-6366-198-0
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • industrial minerals
  • infrared spectroscopy
  • kaolinite
  • perlite
  • Diatomaceous Earth
  • mining
  • mineral processing
  • sensor-based characterisation
  • Process control


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