Alcohol and Aluminium Oxide

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alcohol and aluminium oxide

The dehydration of alcohols produces alkenes - for example when ethanol is heated over an aluminium oxide catalyst it gives ethene. Aluminium oxide is also used in the production of alumina – an aluminium product used for making glass, ceramics and other industrial products.

Corundum is a naturally occurring mineral containing aluminium oxide and is found in nature as the gemstone ruby and sapphire. It is also an important industrial material – for example as a support for some industrial catalytic reactions such as hydrodesulfurization and some Ziegler-Natta polymerisations.

Sodium aluminate, the most common source of commercially available aluminium hydroxide, is an inorganic chemical that is often referred to simply as NaAlO2 (anhydrous) or NaAl(OH)4 (hydrated). Molecular dynamics simulations using the ReaxFF force field show that the oxidation of alumina on itself is a complex process involving both surface hydroxyl groups and the aluminium atoms within the crystalline structure. The evolution of the density and stoichiometry over the course of the oxidation simulation is shown in Fig. 3. The changes in the calculated density reflect the changing oxygen stoichiometry and atomic distribution of the aluminium and oxygen atoms on the surface.

The stoichiometry is influenced by the method of oxidation as well as the structural properties of the resulting oxide and junction layer. Fritz et al have reported stoichiometries of 1.1-1.3 for oxide regions resulting from thermal oxidation with and without UV illumination, plasma oxidation and physical vapour deposition by heating the Al2O3 pellets.

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