2019 : Synthesis of high-purity zircon, zirconia, and silica nanopowders from local zircon sand

Prof. Drs. Suminar Pratapa M.Sc., Ph.D.


High-purity zircon (ZrSiO4) nanopowder was successfully produced from Indonesian natural zircon sand using a low-cost purification approach via magnetic separation, immersion in HCl, and reaction with NaOH, followed by a top-down nanosizing process using wet ball-milling for 10 h and annealing at 200 °C for 2 h. Furthermore, polymorph zirconia (ZrO2 – amorphous, tetragonal, and monoclinic) and silica (SiO2 – amorphous and cristobalite) nanopowders were also successfully derived from the purified zircon powder using a bottom-up method via alkali fusion and co-precipitation processes followed by calcination. The crystallite size of the powders was estimated from X-ray diffraction (XRD) data analysis to give 40, 31, 61, and 149 nm, respectively, for the zircon, tetragonal- and monoclinic-zirconia, and cristobalite. Microstructural characteristics of the zircon, silica, and zirconia nanopowders were …