Synthesis and characterisation of gel-derived mullite precursors from rice husk silica
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The sol-gel synthesis and characterization of mullite precursor derived from rice husk silica and aluminum nitrate hydrate [(Al(NO3)3·9H2O] has been investigated. The samples were characterized using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD) coupled with Rietveld analysis, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). FTIR results showed the presence of Si-O-Si, Al-O-Al, and Si-O-Al functional groups, which were associated with mullite, corundum, quartz, and cristobalite, as verified by XRD analysis. It is concluded that mullite formation started at 1150 °C, and its abundance increased rapidly with an increase in temperature from 1150 to 1350 °C, resulting in increased phase content from 30.9 to 67.7 wt%. Although mullite was formed at a low temperature, the complete reaction between corundum and silica to form mullite was not achieved. This finding demonstrated that rice husk silica is a potential alternative raw material for the production of mullite ceramic.
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Ceramics International. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Ceramics International, Volume 40, Issue 5, 2013, Pages 7067–7072. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ceramint.2013.12.038
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