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Preparation and Characterization of Precipitated Silica using Sodium Silicate Prepared from Saudi Arabian Desert Sand

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The present study reveals a cost benefit process in an open system for utilizing desert sand for preparing sodium silicate or precipitated silica. A simple alkali fusion method has been developed to prepare sodium silicate directly from sand and finally pure precipitated silica by acid precipitation. The reaction weight ratio of alkali to sand reaction parameters are studied for optimizing the silica yield. About 80% pure precipitated silica has been prepared in an open system at 150 °C within 45 min. Wet chemical methods, FTIR, TG-DTA, XRD and SEM techniques are used to characterize the silica prepared from sand available in Saudi Arabian deserts. In the XRD pattern, the peak corresponding to silica was obtained at the diffraction angle of 21.8 ° and it was found to be amorphous in nature.

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This work was done as part of the Industrial Chemistry Technology curriculum student project in Jubail Industrial College. We express our thankfulness to the management of Jubail Industrial College for the valuable support in successful completion of the project. We would also express our gratitude to CSIR laboratory Trivandrum for providing analytical information.

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Correspondence to Riyas Sharafudeen.

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Sharafudeen, R., Al-Hashim, J.M., Al-Harbi, M.O. et al. Preparation and Characterization of Precipitated Silica using Sodium Silicate Prepared from Saudi Arabian Desert Sand. Silicon 9, 917–922 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12633-016-9531-8

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  • Sand
  • Alkali fusion
  • Sodium silicate
  • Precipitated silica