- The chemical compound
silicon dioxide, also known as silica or silox (from the Latin "silex"),
is the oxide of silicon, chemical formula SiO2, and is known
for its hardness as early as the 16th century. It is a principle
component in most types of glass and substances such as concrete. Silica
is found in nature in several forms, including flint, quartz, and opal.
In fact, 35 crystalline forms have been identified.
- Silica structures can
be synthesized for biological and nanotech applications in structures
such as ormosil. Additionally, many forms of life also contain silica
structures (biogenic silica), including microorganisms such as diatoms,
plants such as horsetail, and animals such as hexactinellid sponges. It
is present in the cell walls of various plants (including edible ones)
to strengthen their structural integrity.
- Silica gel can be
described as a coherent, rigid three dimensional network of
contiguous particles of colloidal silica. Silica gel is formed by
polymerization of silica acid: initially silica acid monomers
condense to form colloidal particles, which grow in size and finally
these primary particles condense further to a rigid, highly porous,
tangled network of branching chains.
- Ash which has
undergone maximum extent of combustion is highly desirable as it
contains higher percentage of silica. The selection of ash is
important as the quality of ash determines the total amount as well
as quality of silica recoverable. The initial step is extraction of
silica from ash as sodium silicate using caustic soda.
- Robust technique
is used for producing silicas that have desirable physical and
chemical properties for commercial use, while developing a generic
understanding of silica precipitation that will allow extraction to
be extended to additional fluid types, and to be easily modified to
produce new types of marketable silica.
- A new process for
porous silica production has been developed using a hydrothermal
method. Hydrothermally synthesized calcium silicate was used as the
starting material in this study, which was produced from a mixture
of Ca(OH)2 and amorphous silica (white carbon) under hydrothermal
conditions of 140 C and 0.4 MPa, for 8 hours.
- Most silica sand
imported into Canada comes from loosely consolidated and easily
processed sandstones or lake sand deposits located near the Great
Lakes. The Canadian iron and steel foundry industries used about
74.5% of those imports from the United States, with most of it going
to the provinces of Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec. The Canadian glass
manufacturing industries used about 25.5% of the imports from the
- The economics of
the production and sale of the many types of silica are governed by
many factors, but demand for silica is controlled mostly by the
fortunes of the glass and foundry industries. The production of
silica is usually a low-price, high-tonnage, very competitive
operation. A US company who is the largest producer of silica with a
reported total capacity of about 550 000 t/y.
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