Synthesis, Characterization and Phase Transition of Highly Porous γ -Alumina Nanoparticles
Alumina is an important metal oxide used in a wide range of applications. It is a challenge to synthesize stable γ-alumina nanoparticles because, γ-phase of alumina is not as stable as α phase of alumina. But γ-alumina owns a higher surface area making it a good candidate for many industrial applications such as catalyst, catalytic support for petroleum refining, absorbent, alcohol dehydration, catalytic reduction of automotive pollutants like NOx, CO and hydrocarbons. This research focuses on synthesis, characterization and study of phase identification of pure γ-alumina nanoparticles.
Modified “Pechini method”(Danks, Hall, and Schnepp (2016); Huízar-Félix, Hernández, de la Parra, Ibarra, & Kharisov, 2012; Naskar, 2010; Zaki, Kabel, & Hassan, 2012)was used for the synthesis. Transesterification of citrate and ethylene glycol makes a covalent polymer network with trapped Al atoms. Continuous stirring of the reaction mixture while maintaining an optimum temperature is an important factor affecting this reaction. Calcination was carried out at different temperatures to identify phase transitions of alumina nanoparticles. In order to further reduce the particle size and increase the surface area, reactant ratio of citric acid: aluminum acetate was modified to 1:1, volume of ethylene glycol was increased up to 90% of volume of the solution and Triton X was used as a surfactant.
PXRD confirmed the pure γ-alumina phase (JCPDS No. 00-010-0425) in samples calcined at 900 °C. At 1000 °C γ-alumina is converted to α-alumina (JCPDS No. 00-083-2080). After the modifications, γ-alumina was identified at 700 °C. FTIR-ATR analysis shows peaks around 1127 cm-1 indicating the presence of Al-O-Al asymmetric bending modes and the peaks around 500 cm-1-750 cm-1 correspond to γ-AlO6 octahedral sites and 800 cm-1 correspond to AlO4 tetrahedral sites in γ alumina spinel structure. Resulted product of low temperature, pure γ-alumina nanoparticles will facilitate the industrial development in various applications.
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