Deshmukh, P., Bhatt, J., Peshwe, D. et al. Trans Indian Inst Met (2012) 65: 63. doi:10.1007/s12666-011-0071-z
Rice husk ash (RHA) contains 20% SiO2 in hydrated amorphous form (Si–OH). On thermal treatment, the SiO2 converts to cristobalite, the crystalline form which is not reactive. However under controlled conditions, amorphous SiO2 with high reactivity is produced. Therefore rice husk has been one of the useful bio-mass. The silica activity index was determined to be equal to 97.73 which was used to determine the percentage of amorphous SiO2 in RHA. The values of the soluble fraction and silica activity index were also stated. Comparative study of amorphous and crystalline SiO2 done by X-ray diffraction revealed the total amorphous nature of SiO2. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images displayed the comparative morphological features of the rice husk and RHA. The energy dispersive spectroscopy analysis of rice husk was done to determine the presence of SiO2 on the upper portion of rice husk and to determine the percentage of SiO2 in RHA. The SiO2 particles in an agglomerated form was found to be of micron size when observed under SEM.