The main raw material of Activated alumina aluminum hydroxide (gibbsite, boehmite, etc.) – a material obtained through a series of chemical reactions in the Bayer proces.
Aluminum hydroxide is thermally treated via calcination in a rotary kiln. This calcination step serves to dehydrate, or remove bound moisture from the aluminum hydroxide in order to produce alumina, or aluminum oxide (Al2O3).
Activation is the very important step for activated alumian. Activation as a phase in which the alumina structure becomes highly porous, occurs within a specific temperature range, with process parameters such as residence time and temperature profile used to control the properties of the end product. The activation makeup can also influence the characteristics of the end product.
Agglomeration is very important for activated alumina. This is especially true when working with adsorbents and catalysts.
The agglomeration of activated alumina allows for a high level of customization for specific application requirements. Characteristics that are often controlled through agglomeration include:
Particle size distribution
Amount of attrition/potential for dust generation
There are many ways to produce activated alumina “beads,” as they are often called, with some options including the use of an agglomerator, pin mixer, disc pelletizer, or combination thereof.
For many reasons, testing is often a critical step in the success of an activated alumina product that performs as desired. It is often necessary to test the thermal processing aspects of activated alumina production using batch- and pilot-scale kilns. Additionally, it is often recommended to test the various methods of agglomeration, as well as potential binders in order to gather the process data necessary to produce an agglomerate with the required characteristics.
Due to its capabilities as an adsorbent, desiccant, and catalyst, activated alumina is a valuable tool in many industrial process settings. Produced from the activation of aluminum oxide resulting from the Bayer process via calcination, activated alumina is highly customizable and is often agglomerated to improve performance and handling characteristics. Feasibility testing is often a useful endeavor when working with activated alumina products.
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