Measuring Fluorine Content in Mineral Powders and Ores using the MQC Benchtop NMR Analyser

Fluorine-containing minerals such as fluorspar (fluorite) and cryolite are natural sources of fluorine that are widely used in the chemical industry (manufacturing of hydrofluoric acid and fluoropolymers for example), metallurgy (steel and alumina processing), the pharmaceutical industry and others. The fluorine content often has a significant effect on the processing of such mineral powders. Therefore, it is essential to know the fluorine concentration in order to ensure optimal processing and monitor/control emissions of toxic fluorine gases, for example in the Hall–Héroult process used to produce aluminium.

Conventional methods of fluorine concentration determination tend to be time-consuming operations, requiring skilled chemists and involving the use of potentially hazardous chemicals which require disposal, all of which contribute to the cost of the analysis.

The MQC benchtop Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) analyser offers a simple, non-destructive and rapid method for measurement of fluorine in powders and ores which may be used for routine analysis in a production environment without any requirement for additional chemicals and specialist operator training.

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Measurement of Calcium Fluoride in Fluorospar

The mineral fluorspar (or fluorite) is the most important source of fluorine. The purity (calcium fluoride content) of the mineral will determine its eventual use in the steel, aluminium or chemical industries.

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Measurement of Fluorine Content in Alumina

Samples of fluorinated alumina are regularly analysed, to monitor the emissions from the manufacturing process. It is also important to measure the fluorine content, or purity, of the aluminium fluoride added to the smelter bath to control the efficiency of the process.

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