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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Silica is one of the most common chemical compounds. SiO2 crystals are found in nature in three polymorphic forms, the most common of which is quartz.

  • It is insoluble in water, slightly soluble in alkalies, and soluble in dilute hydrofluoric acid. Pure silica is colorless to white.

  • Compounds of silicon are metallic silicon, hydrides, silicides, borides, nitrogen compounds, carbides, sulfides, halogen compounds, fluosilicic acid and the fluosilicates are some of them.

Process

  • The production of precipitated silica starts with the reaction of an alkaline silicate solution with a mineral acid.

  •  Sulfuric acid and sodium silicate solutions are added simultaneously with agitation to water.

  • The resulting white precipitate is filtered, washed and dried in the manufacturing process.

  • Precipitated silica's basic characteristics, which can be altered during the precipitation process, are particle size distribution, porosity, specific surface area and purity.

Applications

  • Precipitated silica is mainly used as rubber strengthening agent and additives.

  • It can be used to manufacture white, transparent rubber products, also widely used in the industries of plastic, Paint, ink, Paper, Pharmaceutical, Daily chemicals and food because of its non-toxicity and smelless.

  • Silica is a major ingredient of Portland cement. Silica is also used as a food additive, primarily as a flow agent in powdered foods, or to absorb water.

  • Silicon Dioxide (Silica) is widely used as a homeopathic remedy to treat impure blood, boils, brittle nails and lack-lustre hair.

Market

  • Silica used in commercial products is obtained mainly from natural sources. U.S. production of silica sand was estimated at 27.9 million metric tons (61.4 billion pounds) and 28.5 million metric tons (62.7 billion pounds).

  • It was estimated that the U.S. exported 1.5 million metric tons (3.3 billion pounds) and imported 172,000 metric tons (378 million pounds) of silica sand.

  • The world market for precipitated silica and sodium aluminum silicates is forecast to grow 4% per year to 1.5 million metric tons in 2010.

  • Precipitated Silica Production plant with annual capacity of 3000 tons will require an investment around Rs.600 Lacs, according to consultants.

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