Highly pure amorphous silica nano-disks from rice straw

Ping Lu, You Lo Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

179 Scopus citations


White ash, containing majority of SiO 2 with trace amounts of Al 2O 3, CaO, MgO, K 2O, P 2O 5, etc., was successfully produced by heating rice straw at 10°C/min and holding at 250, 325 and 575°C to facilitate decomposition and gasification of the organics while avoiding auto-ignition. Highly pure amorphous silica was derived from the resultant rice straw ash by a base dissolution and acid precipitation process at a 90.8% yield (or 11.47% from rice straw). The SiO 2 chemical composition was confirmed by EDS and FTIR and the amorphous nature by XRD. Freeze-drying of silica gel produced mesoporous silica powders with a 5.8nm average pore size (2 to 22nm pore size distribution) and very high specific surface (509.5m 2/g BET and 637.0m 2/g BJH) and pore volume (0.925cm 3/g). These silica powders were dispersible in water and shown to consist of nano-disks with an average 172nm diameter and 3.09nm thickness as measured by TEM and AFM, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
JournalPowder Technology
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering


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