Feldspar is the mineral which is a group of minerals composed of aluminum (Al) and the silica ion (SiO4) mainly and they are aluminum silicates of soda (sodium oxide), potassium (potassium oxide), or lime (calcium oxide). Chemically, the feldspar is a silicate of aluminium, containing sodium, potassium, iron, calcium, or barium or different variation of these elements. A commercial diversity can be made among sodium, potassium and mixed feldspars, depending on the type of alkali and alumina they contain. The mineralogical composition of most feldspars can be classified in terms of the trinity system those which are Orthoclase (KAlSi3O8), Albite (NaAlSi3O8) and Anorthite (CaAl2Si2O8). The minerals of which the composition is comprised between Albite and Anorthite are known as the plagioclase feldspars, while those comprised between Albite and Orthoclase are called the alkali feldspars due to the presence of alkali metals sodium and potassium.
Orthoclase is the useful commercial feldspar and it is usually light colored white, pink, yellow, or cream, and not transparent. The gem variety is clear to pale yellow, and some called “noble orthoclase”. Its chemical properties and color will be determined depending on the composition of an individual piece, but it will share similarities with other feldspars, like a crystalline structure. its chemical composition must be profiled in order to determine how to use an industrial process feldspar, as different types will behave different definitely.
Most deposits offer sodium feldspar besides potassium feldspar and mixed feldspars. Usually, commercial feldspar is mined from pegmatite or feldspathic sand deposits. The major commercial sources are Italy, Turkey, China, and Thailand in the world.
Applications of Feldspar
Feldspars are mostly used in industrial applications for their alumina and alkali content.