Studies of silica in the oat plant
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Silica was separated from the oat plant by wet-way ashing and by dry-way ashing, examined under the petrological microscope and analyzed by chemical, X-ray and thermal techniques. Surface areas were also determined.
Silica separated by wet-way ashing is representative of the solid silica of the plant. It is entirely opal with refractive index (nNa) ranging from 1.427 to 1.440 and surface area of 14.4 m2/g.
Dry-way ashing produced changes in the silica of the plant. Much greater amounts of Na, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, and Fe were combined in insoluble forms with accompanying changes in the physical properties of the silica. The most notable of these were the crystallization of a small proportion of opal to cristobalite, an increase in refractive index, and a large decrease in surface area.
KeywordsCrystallization Refractive Index Plant Physiology Small Proportion Large Decrease
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