Improvement of salt mining and processing at Lake Katwe
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Uganda is considered to be one of the few countries South of the Sahara endowed with a number of natural resources, in terms of minerals like salt, iron ore, ceramic raw materials etc. However, most of the Ugandan natural resources have not been well exploited, and those which have been exploited haven’t been done to full potential. Its paramount for a country to develop products from its natural resources as far as industrialization is concerned. Presently, Uganda imports a lot of industrial and domestic consumable goods like salts yet the demand could be met locally if some of the resources were exploited to commercial status. Considering the abundance of salt raw materials and the demand for processed salt for human and animal consumption, it is pertinent to develop deposits like Katwe to become the major salt source in Uganda and the Great Lakes Region. This thesis thus, concerns the characterization of raw materials (Brine) from Lake Katwe with the aim of refining this into table salt for domestic consumption. Lake Katwe salt raw materials were investigated to assess their potential in the manufacture of domestic/table salt. Raw brine samples were investigated by means of laboratory study using the physico-chemical method of salt purification. 20-25ml of aluminium sulphate and 3-4g of lime and a general salt refining process scheme for manufacture of salt were used to make significant improvements to produce edible salt. Experimental results from the characterization and refining processes reveal that it’s possible to produce up to 97.5% NaCl from the brine composition of approximately 75% NaCl using the physico-chemical techniques of salt refining. For every liter of the saline sample, approximately 60 g of salt (NaCl) were obtained. A salt production process scheme has thus been developed for this particular brine deposit at Lake Katwe.