Activated alumina is a porous, solid form of aluminum oxide, otherwise known as Al2O3 or alumina. This is the same mineral that makes up the precious gems ruby and sapphire, with impurities being the source of the stones’ bright colors. After activated alumina has been evacuated of existing moisture by heating it, the high surface area and many pores of the material allow for the uptake of water and other molecules through adsorption.
What is Activated Alumina used for?
Activated alumina has many different applications, one of the most important of which being desiccation, the adsorption of water. As a desiccant, activated alumina can be used to dry compressed air and other gas and liquid streams. Additionally, the adsorbent is often used to purify gas streams by the selective adsorption of specific molecules. Activated alumina also has water filtration and catalyst applications; for example, it is commonly used in the Claus process, a desulfurizing treatment for natural gas
What is the difference between Activated Alumina and Molecular Sieve?
While they often perform the same process of adsorbing moisture, activated alumina and molecular sieve differ in many ways. Molecular sieve features pores whose size can be adjusted by ion exchange, allowing them to separate molecules based on size discrimination, a task other adsorbents are not capable of. This is why, for example, molecular sieve is used in the separation of ethanol and water. The sizes of the pores of activated alumina cannot be tailored and are not necessarily uniform. However, activated alumina has its own pros. Activated alumina shows a higher affinity for water than molecular sieve, so it is often used in the drying of various gas and liquid streams, instances when it is important to adsorb the most moisture possible. Its high crush strength allows activated alumina to withstand the high pressures of industrial applications.
What is the best place to buy Activated Alumina?
Interra Global’s aSORBTM Activated Alumina is specifically designed to have a high crush strength and low dust content, making it ideal for the strain of industrial applications. It is available in a variety of bead sizes to fit your specific drying application.