In this study, the potential of major porta (MP) clay obtained from Major Porta village of Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State, Nigeria as an adsorptive bleaching agent was investigated. Various adsorbents were prepared from the MP clay by acid activation which was done by refluxing a given mass of MP clay with HCl solutions of varying concentrations ranging from 1 – 5 M at the boiling temperature of water (1000C) for 3 hours with constant stirring after which some physical and chemical properties of the activated MP clay samples were analyzed and compared with the properties of Fuller’s Earth, a Commercial bleaching earth (CBE). The compositions of the raw, activated and CBE clays were determined using AAS and X-ray fluorescence (XRF). The effects of acid concentration, activation time, and temperature were investigated by bleaching studies. The result of compositional analyses showed that the alumina contents of 17.04 -23.03% and silica content of 50.32 – 70.03% were the major components of the CBE, raw and activated MP clays, with the clay activated with 1M HCl having composition and physical properties that are similar to the CBE. Acid concentration of 1M, 60 minutes and 373K were found to be the suitable acid concentration, contact time and temperature respectively for the production of an adsorbent that will compare favourably with CBE.
Key Words: activation, adsorptive bleaching, characterization, clay, oil.