Activated alumina in a petri dish

How Does Activated Alumina Work?

Desiccants are hygroscopic substances that are used to adsorb moisture and contaminants and induce a dry atmosphere in any industrial process. Several types of desiccants are commonly used according to their application. One of these desiccants includes activated alumina. Let’s take a detailed look at what activated alumina is and how it works.

What is Activated Alumina?

Activated alumina, simply called alumina, is made with aluminum hydroxide. The desiccant is porous in nature and adsorbs moisture from the air, warm gases, contaminants, etc. Alumina also has more storage capacity compared to other desiccants. To create activated alumina, aluminum hydroxide is heated to a point where all the moisture inside is lost.

How Does Activated Alumina Work?

Activated alumina doesn’t absorb water or gases; it adsorbs them. There’s a major difference between absorption and adsorption. When a material absorbs water, for example, it simply soaks up water until the water either evaporates or eventually leaks, like a sponge soaking up water. However, in adsorption, the water goes through the pores in a substance and sticks to them chemically, making a bond. This means that the adsorbed water simply won’t leak or evaporate because it’s chemically bonded to the surface of activated alumina.

The chemical bond can be broken, and water or gases can be released by heating the desiccant to over 200 degrees Celsius. This is done to make activated alumina available for use again.

Properties of Activated Alumina

Some of the most prominent properties of activated alumina include:

  • Highly porous in terms of structure
  • High strength (isn’t crushed easily)
  • Resistant to thermal shock
  • Resistant to chemical attacks
  • Larger surface area compared to other desiccants

Applications of Activated Alumina

Activated alumina is commonly used for:

  • Absorbing fluoride

Fluoride is added to drinking water for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Activated alumina adsorbs excess fluoride from drinking water to prevent people from getting fluorosis.

  • Absorbing Catalysts

Catalysts are used in the production of chemicals like polyethene, hydrogen peroxide, and others. They speed up reactions. After the catalyst’s job is done, activated alumina is used to adsorb it.

  • Biomaterial

Activated alumina is the preferred substance to cover friction in body prostheses.

Activated alumina balls

If you’re looking to purchase activated alumina in the United States or Canada, Sorbead India can help you.

We are a renowned desiccant manufacturing company, and we provide desiccants of the highest quality, including activated alumina. We have been supplying activated alumina to companies from multiple industries in the United States and Canada. Other desiccants that we provide include silica gel, molecular sieve, and more.

Get in touch with us to buy desiccants online.

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