Preliminary study on upgrading silica sand from the Elwadi Elgedid, Western Desert, Egypt for compatibility with various industrial applications

Document Type : Research Article


Nuclear Materials Authority, Cairo, Egypt


The silica sand from the vast Elwadi Elgedid desert is an important potential resource. However, before it can be used industrially, its quality needs to be improved by reducing the ratios of iron and titanium oxides. The current study investigated several different methods of this silica’s beneficiation process with regard to the cost of beginning a possible metal-silicon industry. Foremost, looked at autogenesis disintegration, dry screening, and dry-high intensity magnetic separation using Eriez rare earth rolls belt speed 114 rpm, splitting angle 95o. Then moved on to acid leaching via oxalic and sulfuric acids.  The analysis of silica sand concentrate reveals 98.80% SiO2 with 0.40% Al2O3, 0.06% Fe2O3, 0.03% TiO2, and 0.38 LOI. This processed silicon sand is currently unsuitable for the metallurgical silicon, solar silicon, and even semi-conductor industries. However, it is suitable for grade F uses, including colored glass containers according to British standards (B.S.) and sheet and plate glass according to the American Ceramic Society and National Bureau of Standard. It is considered medium-grade according to Indian standards specifications (I.S.), making it suitable for pale-coloured glass wares. Moreover, it is suitable for foundry paints, plastics, polymer compounds, rubber, sealants, resins, adhesives, and ceramics industries.

Graphical Abstract

Preliminary study on upgrading silica sand from the Elwadi Elgedid, Western Desert, Egypt for compatibility with various industrial applications


  • Silica sand is an economical raw highly silica.
  • Purification from contaminations (refractory minerals).
  • Physical and chemical techniques are using in regard with low coastline.
  • Using rare earth roll, magnetic separator to decrease the iron and titanium oxides.
  • Applications that concentrate silica sand can be used.


Main Subjects

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