The properties of amorphous nano-silica synthesized by the dissolution of olivine

A. Lazaro, H.J.H. Brouwers, G. Quercia, J.W. Geus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
240 Downloads (Pure)


This study addresses the synthesis of amorphous mesoporous nano-silica by the dissolution of olivine in sulfuric acid, showing the influence of the process conditions on the properties of nano-silica. The olivine dissolution process is a convenient alternative to the traditional methods of nano-silica production; and that is because the low energy requirement makes it possible to use this material in new fields where previously its price was prohibitive. The produced nano-silica has a specific surface area between 100 and 300 m2/g and a particle size between 10 and 25 nm. These particles are agglomerated in clusters forming a mesoporous material with an average pore diameter around 20 nm. The impurity content is below 5%, and the silica yield of the process in the range of 54 to 83 %. When the separation of the silica is carried out by filtration, the textural properties of the material have a direct influence on the separation efficiency. The texture and specific surface area of nano-silica depends on several factors of the process, the main ones being the kinetics of the dissolution of olivine and the washing steps of the nano-silica. Thus, the properties of this nano-silica can be tailored by changing the process conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-121
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Issue number211-212
Publication statusPublished - 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'The properties of amorphous nano-silica synthesized by the dissolution of olivine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this