A new method for the production of colloidal nano-silica

A. Lazaro, H.J.H. Brouwers

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

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The production of colloidal nano-silica by the dissolution of olivine represents a new and interesting method because of the low temperature process, making the use of this material possible in new fields where previously its price was problematic. The crystal structure of olivine is built up of isolated negatively charged SiO4-4 tetrahedral held together by positive Mg2+ ions. During dissolution in acid, Mg2+ ions are replaced by H+, yielding Si(OH)4 monomers and Mg2+ ions in solution. After cleaning treatments (separation and decantation) a colloidal nano-silica is obtained. The nano-silica material was produced in an isothermal batch lab-scale stirred reactor of one litre with olivine of different particle sizes (between 125 to 600 µm), in the temperature range 50 to 90 °C and with 25 % sulphuric acid. The nano-silica was characterised by TEM, EDS, Gas physisorption, ICP and dynamic light scattering. The produced nano-silica has a particle size between 10-30 nm, a specific surface area between 100-400 m2/g and an impurity content below 2%. In addition, the influence of the temperature, specific surface area of olivine and concentration of protons on the properties of the nano-silica is studied. This paper shows it is possible to produce colloidal nano-silica by the dissolution of olivine and the properties of this nano-silica can be tailored by changing the initial reactor conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Poster presented at the 1st International Symposium on Colloids and Materials, 8-11 May 2011, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


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