Activated alumina

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Originally a brand name, but now a general name, for a highly porous and granular form of Aluminum oxide. Activated alumina is composed of partially dehydrated Alumina trihydrate. Because it has a strong affinity for moisture and volatile compounds, alumina is primarily used to remove water and odors from gases and liquids. The physical adsorption of materials is reversible and alumina can be reactivated by heat (176-315 C) several times. It is also used as a desiccant (dryer), as a media in chromatographic columns and as a sorbent in water purification systems. One commercial form of activated alumina, F-6, is impregnated with Cobaltous chloride as a moisture indicator. The anhydrous form of cobaltous chloride is blue while the hydrated form is pink. Activated alumina is also used as a carrier for Potassium permanganate for the irreversible chemisorption of gases.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Brand names: Activated Alumina F-1 [Aluminum]; Activated Alumina F-6 [Aluminum];


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  • Micrometrics: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Composition Al2O3
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 101.96
Pore size 30-1000 angstroms

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 35
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, Comment: "alumina" [Accessed May 8, 2003].
  • Wikipedia: Activated alumina (Accessed Dec. 9, 2005 and July 2023)

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