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Characterization of QwaQwa sandstones and design of solar powered microwave cutter equipment for artisanal mining

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. A.F. Mulaba; Mrs. Dorina Ionescu en_US
dc.contributor.author Mubiayi, Mukuna Patrick
dc.date.accessioned 2012-10-24T07:10:33Z
dc.date.available 2012-10-24T07:10:33Z
dc.date.issued 2012-10-24
dc.date.submitted 2012-10-15
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/7893
dc.description M.Tech. en_US
dc.description.abstract Artisanal mine of sandstones especially in rural area are facing numerous challenges including the use of inadequate tools for the processing of sandstones. Since the current processing technique has limitations which consist of the use of hammer and chisels, there is a need to develop environmentally friendly and cost effective techniques for the processing of sandstones. In this project, six different sandstones samples (yellowish, blackish, reddish, greenish, greyish and whitish) from QwaQwa rural area were collected and characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) and an optical microscope. In addition, physical properties of sandstones were also carried out including compressive strength, dielectric properties and water absorption. Furthermore sandstones samples were irradiated using multi- and single- mode microwave cavities to investigate the effect on the mineralogy of sandstones. The analysis of mineralogical change was carried out using XRD. Additionally a microwave multimode cavity was used to investigate the weight loss of sandstones after being irradiated. A microwave cavity was designed based on the characteristics of sandstones and it was simulated. A photovoltaic solar system was sized to power the microwave cutter. The experimental work was carried out on a laboratory scale. The XRD analysis revealed that quartz was the major mineral present in all sandstones which confirms that QwaQwa sandstones are quartz based sandstones. Feldspar minerals such as illite and albite were also found. Additional minerals were identified at trace level including glauconite, kaolonite, crysobalite and orthoclase. On the other hand, the XRD results of the irradiated samples using a single- and multi- mode cavity for 60 seconds revealed a strong presence of quartz which means no significant changes were observed. However, some minor overlapped peaks suspected to be muscovite (KAl2(Si3Al)O10(OH,F)2) in three samples (blackish, greyish and yellowish) were noticed. XRF study showed that the chemical elements available in the six sandstones samples are: aluminium, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, sodium, phosphorus, silicon and titanium. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Solar energy en_US
dc.subject Sandstone mining en_US
dc.subject Artisanal mining en_US
dc.subject Rock mechanics
dc.title Characterization of QwaQwa sandstones and design of solar powered microwave cutter equipment for artisanal mining en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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