Tag Archives: activated alumina

December 4, 2017


Recovery of Pyrogen free Drug through Chromatography Using Activated Alumina

Alumina is the name linked to alum, a compound of Aluminium and Disulphate. Alumina was first extracted from clay using Sulphuric acid in 1754 and the word “Alumina ” was coined in 1761. It is also named as Bauxite, since Alumina was found abundant in the place called Les Baux in Southeast France.

Alumina was first manufactured in 1860 in France using Saint-Claire Deville process. Whereas, the Perfect process for extracting Alumina from Bauxite came from an Austrian and the process was named after him as the “Bayer’s Process”. This process is widely used until today, as the Alumina is in great demand worldwide for material applications.

Alumina exists in several allotropic forms, among them Activated Alumina (Al2O3) or Aluminium oxide which exists in porous form is of great demand because of its porosity. Activated Alumina is obtained after a series of process which includes dissolution of double salt of Aluminium in water at 85degrees Centigrade , recrystallizing it at a pressure of 250psi and a temperature of about 250degrees C. After which it is precipitated and roasted at 850 to 950degrees Centigrade to remove sulfates and finally drying the remaining Alumina yields a high-grade of Alumina called as Activated Alumina.

Metal oxides with the large surface area to Volume ratio are considered as anti-microbial agents. In packaging industries, these anti-microbial agents are of much significance as they stop the growth of microorganisms. Studies revealed that Activated Alumina shows the antimicrobial activity of the microbial forms and is considered as an Anti-microbial agent. Since Activated Alumina has inherent shelf-life; it can be regenerated at a temperature of 110 degrees to 150-degree Centigrade.



Alumina under heat or pressure gets moulded into a solid mass material and is referred to as Alumina Balls. These are white in colour, spherical in shape and they are available in a size ranging from 25mm to70mm. Alumina Balls are specifically robust in nature, therefore not only used in the absorption of moisture but also in the absorption of gases. Accordingly, Alumina balls are not only used as an Adsorbent but also as a catalyst bed support in oil refining and petrochemical, because of its high resistance towards high temperatures and high pressures. Based on the requirement in Industries or Mills and role of Alumina balls, they are Classified into Alumina Grinding Balls and Alumina Supporting Balls.

  • Alumina Grinding Balls: These are used in ball mills, sand mills and Industries which manufacture glazed Tiles where Alumina Grinding Balls are used in replacement with natural pebble as grinding media as they are hard due to high density and resist corrosion. Depending on the lining in grinding media they are available in sphere, cylinders or brick forms.
  • Alumina Supporting Balls: These are used in Gasification, Petroleum, chemical and Fertilizer Industries, where they support to increase the intensity of the catalyst and also the distribution of gas or liquid in the reacting tower. They are available in Regular as well as in Columnar shape.


allumina powder

Activated Alumina powder can be obtained by calcining the Alumina Precursor powder. It is white in colour and the particle size range from 70 to 290 mesh.  It is mostly employed in Chromatography Techniques as they show a characteristic feature of change in pH when slurred with water. The surface area of the Activated Alumina increases along with an increase in the pH value. Chromatography is an analytical technique used for the separation of chemical substances, like Acids, Alkaloids, Steroids, Aldehydes, Ketones, Alcohols and many more. Mostly Activated Alumina Powder with approximately particle size 150 mesh is Preferred for Chromatography. Before performing the Chromatography for separation, the activated Alumina after slurred with water is treated with acid or base to adjust the pH to make it suitable for separation. If the pH of Activated Alumina Slurred is 4.5 then it is called as Acidic Alumina and is used for the separation of strong Acids. If the pH of Activated Alumina Slurred is 10, then it is called as Basic Alumina and is used for the separation of Alcohols, Alkaloids, and Steroids. But if the pH of Activated Alumina Slurred is 7, then it is called as Neutral Alumina and is used for the separation of Aldehydes,  Ketones , Esters.

Activated Alumina because of its large surface area to volume ratio, has immense commercial applications in Biomedical as well as in Pharmaceutical field. The large surface area of the Activated alumina plays a major role by altering the biological activity of microorganism, thereby affecting its growth. In Pharmaceutical field, Isolation of Drug requires the elimination of the Pyrogens, originating from the cell walls of Bacteria also called as endotoxins, which is achieved by  Activated Alumina.  Pyrogen removal or purification of endotoxins from the drugs is enhanced by modifying the activated surface of Alumina to absorb depending on which process it is employed; used as a membrane or used in a Colum Chromatography.

Recovery of Pyrogen free Drug through Chromatography Using Activated Alumina

Recovery of Pyrogen free Drug through Chromatography Using Activated Alumina1

In Column Chromatography,  Activated Alumina is considered as the stationary phase as it enables the least polar compounds to elute first and retains the more polar compound for a longer time. In Column chromatography, there are two methods of packing the column with Activated Alumina. One being the slurry method and the other being the Dry pack method.Dry pack method is employed for microscale separation, whereas Slurry method for Macro scales separation.

Dry pack method: In Dry pack method, Activated Alumina is added to the non-polar solvent, present in the column, such that it floats to the bottom of the Column or Activated Alumina is deposited to an intended height in the Column as it is the stationary phase, then the non-polar solvent is added. After which a thin horizontal band of the drug to be isolated mixed with the polar solvent is added at the top of the column. Then a small layer of sand is added to the top of the column followed by the Solvent eluent. Fractions of the sample containing drug based on TLC results is collected after opening the stopcock, then the solvent in it is evaporated, after which the pure form of the drug is obtained which is then recrystallized.

Slurry Pack Method: In Slurry pack method, Activated Alumina is first mixed with small amount of non-polar solvent in the beaker, then it is poured in the column followed by the addition of the isolating drug and sand. This method gives the best packing if it is evenly distributed.

This Column Chromatography is time-consuming; therefore for a speedy recovery of the Pyrogen free drug, Flash Chromatography method is used in which the rate of the mobile phase is increased by passing 10psi pressure of air or Nitrogen through the fine grade of Activated Alumina.

Role of Activated Alumina in Biopharmaceutical Industries

Role of Activated Alumina in Biopharmaceutical Industries

Pharmaceutical drugs that are semi synthesized and isolated from a living source or Biological source such as microbes are considered as Biopharmaceuticals. They include Vaccines, Antibiotics, Steroids and many more. Secondary metabolites produced by bacteria are considered as Antibiotics, which need to isolate and purify. The Purification of Antibiotics is performed through a series of extraction after which the Antibiotic is finally recovered by Organic Chemical Means such as Column wise purification. In this method, Acidic Alumina placed in the column absorbs the impurities and allows the passage of the Antibiotic through the Column. For Satisfactory purification, Alumina at a ratio of 50:1 based on the solid, present in the feed solution is to be used. Biopharmaceutical drugs have become potent and viable, which is a major concern in the field of Biopharmaceuticals. The inefficiency is attributed due to the ineffective production of the drugs. Therefore,  Metal oxides such as Activated Alumina among others are currently the most prominent tool applied for the purification of Biopharmaceuticals. Since the purification process requires de-colourisation of the medical component or drug, Activated Alumina being amphoteric, stable at high temperatures and pressure gives the desired product.

Due to electrostatic forces of the Activated Alumina, Higher molecular weight medical components, such as Vancomycin, Colistin, Gentamicin isolation and purification is been made easy. The macroporous nature of Activated Alumina which acts as a resin which in turn selectively absorbs the effective part of the medical component from the fermented broth thereby enhances the stability of the Product.

Activated Alumina Balls
February 6, 2017


Activated Alumina and its Benefits

Activated Alumina is a very commonly used desiccant. It is generally manufactured by dehydroxylating Aluminium Hydroxide in such a manner that the end result is a highly porous material. It is this porous material, which is widely used in removing impurities from the surroundings. Activated Alumina is known to have a surface area of more than 200 square metres/g. This desiccant is not only widely used for its large surface area but also for its very high surface-area-to-weight ratio, which make the adsorbent process faster and more effective.


The main benefits of using Activated Alumina is that more moisture molecules/impurities can be absorbed over more area in a shorter period of time. The numerous tunnel-like pores of the Activated Alumina desiccant are its biggest plus-point. They allow only those molecules to pass through, which are smaller than the even-sized pores while the larger molecules are left behind. This is how Activated Alumina desiccant successfully filters substances.


Activated Alumina for Effective Water Filtration


Activated Alumina Water Filter

Activated Alumina balls are the first choice of municipal corporations around the world for removing impurities like fluoride, arsenic and selenium from water meant for drinking and household purposes. This is done by immersing Activated Alumina filters into the water, which is to be removed of impurities. When it comes in contact with the water, the Activated Alumina desiccant will begin its work and start absorbing all the impurities present in the water. Main among these impurities is fluoride, which can lead to many complications like fluorosis, weaker bones and various other deficiencies. Fluorosis is dangerous especially for young children, because it can lead to them having lesser IQ, thus seriously affecting their emotional and physical growth.


Activated alumina water filter can very easily reduce the fluoride levels present in the water meant for drinking purposes from 10.0 ppm to less than 1.0 ppm. The amount of fluoride absorbed from the water being filtered depends on how long the water is in actual contact with the immersed activated alumina filters. If more of the activated alumina filters are in contact with the water, which is to be treated then more fluoride molecules can be absorbed. This will result in there being less fluoride in the final filtered water. Such treated water is fit for drinking as well as household purposes.


Lower temperature water and lowered acidic water are also filtered more effectively with the help of Activated Alumina water filter.


June 16, 2016


Activated Alumina Balls is basically made up of Aluminium Hydroxide by dehydroxylating it which produces highly porous material. This will have high surface area around 345-415 m²/gm.

Activated Alumina Balls is widely preferred due to its varied application and its high adsorption capacity. Activated Alumina Balls is used for a wide range of Adsorbent and Catalyst application such as adsorption of polyethylene production, in hydrogen peroxide productions and also for removing access amount of Fluoride and Arsenic contents from water.


Activated Alumina when used as desiccant, the process is called Adsorption. The air passes through alumina balls where the water that is present in the air gets sticked in alumina through the tiny passages through them, thus water molecules get trapped & thereby the air is dried out and passes through the filter. On regeneration desiccant i.e. by heating to -200°c it would release trapped water.

Mostly Activated Alumina Balls is being used in Air Dryer/Desiccant Dryers namely Heatless Air Dryer, Heat of Compression Air Dryer and Heat Re-activated Air Dryer. Activated Alumina Balls would absorb moisture present in the Air and thereby would give dry air and is suitable of acquiring Dew Point of -40°c. It would be advisable that the bed should be compactly filled so to avoid air passing without being in touch with Alumina Balls.

Activated Alumina Balls is also used for reducing access amount of Fluoride and Arsenic contents from water. Activated Alumina Balls has capacity of reducing fluoride contents up to 0.1 ppm.

April 8, 2016

Activated alumina AD101, also known as desiccant, catalyst carrier, de-fluorination, adsorbent and aluminum oxide, has a highly porous structure which allows it to showcase its pole-molecular absorbent nature, in addition to several outstanding features like high absorbent rate and high selectivity. It is important for industries of all kinds to utilize desiccants for reducing the operating cost and the overall energy consumption. Due to its property to dry out the gases easily, activated alumina has become immensely popular in all parts of the world.

Moisture is removed from the gases so as to avoid several undesirable effects that are caused by ice and liquid formation, catalyst contamination and corrosion. There are some basic water removal steps that appear in various applications, including industrial gas drying and air conditioning. The activated alumina figures allow the gas streams to keep the gases away from moisture so that physical and chemical resistance can be minimized.

High Mechanical Strength

Gas Drying Activated Alumina is required to have a high mechanical strength so that it can withstand processes like crushing and attrition. The crushing and attrition values for various spheres those are well adapted towards the applications.

Alumina-Balls (1)
Major Applications

• Drying of gases, including catalytic reforming recycle gas, cracked gas, LNG and natural gas

• Drying up of basic gases, including CO2, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen

• Purification of liquids and gases

• Air separation and air drying

• Activated alumina for the purpose of hydrogen-generation

• Gas drying activated alumina utilized for fluorine treatment for H2O2

Benefits and Features of Gas Drying Activated Alumina

• There is low abrasion for a lesser amount of dusting and drying during the process of depressurization.

• Activated alumina even reassures low pressure drop and a reduced opportunity of plugging a powerful alter-filter.

Activated Alumina AD101 won’t swell, soften or shrink, even when it is completely immersed in water. It is not affected by water slugging, which is why the alumina beads don’t get fractured easily. Another major benefit of this desiccant is that its high adsorption capacity allows it to get restored just after the regeneration process gets over.

Activated-Alumina-Balls (1)• Activated alumina for gas drying enjoys high crush strength for the purpose of minimizing dust formation while loading the absorbent just into the dryer.

• In large drying systems that are regenerative, the activated alumina beads do have a long shelf life due to their natural properties.
There are various different types of activated alumina and it’s important for the user to choose the right one that offers maximum benefits at once.

April 8, 2016

Activated alumina balls are aluminium oxide based compounds which are highly porous in nature with a significantly high surface-area-to-weight ratio. With the latest technology, they can easily attain their high quality properties like adsorption, mechanical strength, pore volume and surface area. The striking features of this adsorbent are its non-corrosive nature, resistance to softening and swelling, abrasion resistant, shrink proof, low resistance to gas proof, etc. An assortment of activated alumina is available in the market, which includes adsorbent, desiccant and activated alumina for chromatography.

Applications of Alumina Balls

Alumina balls act as filters in bed toppings and supports for removing any impurities from the gas stream, which helps in the uniform distribution of feed gas. In a catalyst bed, the presence of these balls keeps the bed intact during any fluctuation in pressure. It can also withstand high thermal shocks and is completely unaffected by an emergency start-up or shutdown. The alumina refractory bed support usually acts as an inert catalyst support in oil refineries, chemical industries, ammonia manufacturing plant, etc.


Uses of Activated Alumina

The inherent properties of this compound make it extremely useful in the following ways:

•    Used as a desiccant: It works through the adsorption process when being used as a desiccant. During this process, the water present in the air actually sticks to the alumina so that the dried air is passed out through the filter.

•    Used as a fluoride adsorbent: It is widely used to remove all fluoride contents from drinking water. This compound, when used in filters, can reduce the fluoride levels from 0.5ppm to less than even 0.1ppm. Depending on how long the water is in touch with alumina, the amount of fluoride can be leached from the water. Basically, more the alumina in the filter, less is the fluoride in the final filtered water.

•    Used as a catalyst: It can also be used for various catalyst applications like in hydrogen peroxide production, in the production of polyethylene, as a selective adsorbent for many chemicals, including fluoride, arsenic, etc. in sulphur removal from the main gas streams.

•    Used as a biomaterial: The non-reactivity and mechanical properties of this compound make it an ideal material for covering surfaces in friction.

Alumina-Balls (1)As per their application, Activated Alumina Balls are available in basic, acidic and neutral grades with deferment pH value. They can be easily regenerated to the original adsorption efficiency while heating them to a temperature between 110-150°C

April 8, 2016

As there are a number of desiccants with various features and capacity, similarly one of the desiccants activated alumina can have various types and kinds for various purposes and industries. One of such kind is the activated alumina balls. As the name suggests these are balls shaped small items that are white in color and are a drying agent. The desiccant is effective in drying of the moisture from air and water and thus is used a variety of industries where there is a need to maintain moisture less environment so that the products do not get affected.

The desiccant F200 activated alumina is known to be a desiccant that is highly capable of consuming moisture three times more than is size. The alumina balls due to its high surface area are known to absorb a high amount of moisture to keep the items dry and free from moisture for a longer time. This is the reason they are use in various industries much more than any other desiccants at present times. It acts as a catalyst in various industries apart from a drying agent where they help in getting separation of various elements from a compound.


The activated alumina balls are available in various sized as per the need. All the sizes of the desiccant are equally effective and are best at its place. A very common place where these balls can be used is in the purification of the waste water from compounds such as arsenic and fluoride. Through this technique of separation of these elements from water, the waste water is recycled for getting a purified form after further treatments.

Arcinic-Removal (1)

Apart from the purification of the waste water to get a clean form, there are other places where the F200 activated alumina is used. It is used as drying agent in various industries such as purification of the air, or separation of the natural gas from various other gases. Thus, it is an effective way for purification and separation of elements in industries like petroleum, natural gas, and many more. Thus, the desiccant can be said to be an important element for many industries and also at times in many research and development centers of various industries.

April 8, 2016

In spite of having so many gas drying desiccants out there in the market, there has a strong significance why people (those who need to use these desiccants) are fond of activated alumina when it comes to dry out a warm gas appropriately. One of the prime reasons is that these balls are formulated with aluminum oxide which is highly porous and possess a tremendous surface area which let them soak up the gas and water molecules on a large scale. The surface normally ranges from 345-415 square meter/gm and this wide surface makes this element adsorb more gas, moisture, water vapor and humidity, even more than silica gel as well. For having such a higher capacity of gas consumption at an elevated temperature as well, it is an obvious choice for the various industrial purposes like; purification, isolations etc.

The alumina has a resistant power from thermal shock and abrasion, more so, they don’t get shrink, swell, soften and not even they disintegrate when completely saturated into gas. The element is formulated with aluminum hydroxide and the process is called dehydroxylation. Successful accomplishment of the process results in production of highly porous material with a huge surface area. It is made of aluminum oxide (Al2O3) and exhibits a high surface area compare to its weight and because of these, it has lots of small pores which run throughout it.


This Gas drying activated alumina is generally used for warm gases like hydrogen sulphide, sulfur oxide etc. including air as well because it has higher water absorption capacity even at a high temperature. This chemical substance doesn’t make so much of physical changes after getting immersed into gas molecules. Despite being used as an adsorbent, the activated form of alumina also possess catalyst applications in the form of alumina balls which includes the absorption of catalyst in the production of polyethylene. The utilization of activated alumina AD101 ranges from the purification (mainly removing metallic traces, TBC and HF compounds) of gases and liquids, drying out organic liquids such as LPG, propylene, butane etc.


The desiccation of gases includes steam cracked gases, catalytic reforming gases, synthesis gases, methyl chloride and natural gases etc. and it also dry out oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, CO2. The most enchanting fact is that this form of alumina can be regenerated when it is entirely drenched with gas molecules by heating up the alumina at around 2000C as it releases the gas molecules at then.

April 7, 2016

You must have come across few products that highly vulnerable when come into the contract with moisture and or water vapor. What should you do to keep these products free from these damaging aspects? The best way would be to use an activated form of alumina that is available in the form of small balls in order to prevent the damages. These balls are highly efficient to absorb the moistures and water-vapors from those applications where purifying the air is of much importance to obtain a clear product.

Generally, these balls are manufactured by heating the aluminum oxide at a very high temperature. To talk about the some characteristics of these balls, these are odorless, non-toxic, and insoluble in water and doesn’t contain any taste and these features together make the desiccants a quintessential choice for those several applications that generally take place in petrochemical and acid industry. These balls are helpful for drying out the cracked gas, ethylene, propylene, hydrogen and few other components as well. Furthermore, these desiccants have the ability to soak up the polluted materials as well such as hydrogen sulphide, sulfur oxide, hydrogen fluoride etc.


These activated alumina balls work mostly as desiccants. The process, through which these balls are manufactured, is called as dehydroxylation from aluminum hydroxide. The balls are available in a number of sizes and shapes which provide the flexibility of selecting the alumina balls as per the requirements of the particular application and the moisture capacity. Practically, these balls are perfectly alright desiccants for different applications where high absorption quality is required. The powerful activity of these drying balls is really appreciated for various industrial purposes.

Arcinic-Removal (1)

The activated alumina F200 is a powerful air drying desiccant which has its applications extended for separation and purification of a number of industrial applications. The industries where the utilization of these desiccant balls are mostly observed are chemical, petrochemical, air & gas, fertilizer etc. and these balls do not have the tendency to shrink, swell or become soften when they absorb water and not then as well when they are completely drenched with moisture. The effectiveness of these balls includes the uses as preservations as well. These activated alumina balls preserve the products from the damaging effects of humidity, mold, and constructional flows leakage etc.

The utilization of these activated desiccant balls includes the applications in compressed air dryer system, drinking water defluorination, desicator and purifying agent and air drying with PSA and TSA process.

April 7, 2016

Adsorbing the moisture or water from the air is one of the key requisites in many industries especially in chemical industry, pharmaceutical industry, electrical industry and food industry. A number of different desiccants or adsorbents are presently available in the market. But the finest of them all that probably suits all kinds of adsorption process and that is an ideal option for air drying and drying other gases in comparatively high humidity is activated alumina. This is regarded to be one of the most effective desiccants that can be used in various applications for removing unwanted water or moisture from the air.

It is also used for purification process as well.

This is basically a porous form of aluminum oxide that works fine in different situations and weather conditions. One of the key reasons behind the large acceptance of this desiccant is its high adsorbing capability and crushing strength. When it comes to the thermal stock or any form of abrasion, this adsorbent acts as a perfect resistant which is why this desiccant can be used in a variety of applications like dehydration, separation or purification of different liquid or gas mixtures. While engrossed in water it doesn’t get disintegrated, shrunk or swelled.

Air-Drying-Desiccant (1)

There are some key features of air dying activated alumina akin to better adsorption capability, surface area, and larger pore size along with structural strength which make this desiccant an ideal choice for many industrial applications. Furthermore, it has comparatively higher capability of adsorbing water at a very high temperature than silica gel which makes it ideal selection for hydrating warm gases. Because of its enhanced capability, presently in many industrial sectors it has replaced zeolites. In a number of adsorption process it is used in the form of small balls that are known as activated alumina balls.


Activated alumina AD101 and F200 are used for removing the impurities from various gases and liquids. Various organic liquids such as LPG, propylene, aromatic solvents, gasoline, steam cracked liquids are dried by using these effective alumina compounds. These desiccants are available in different grades and specifications intended to meet different requirements. These adsorbents should be applied according to the exact need of the procedure so that excellent results can be obtained.

Advantages of Activated Alumina

  •   Though it has been proved that prolonged exposure to water may hamper the capabilities of activated alumina, when it comes to the resiliency, this is much stronger than silica gel or molecular sieves.
  •   It has high crush strength.
  •   Using activated alumina is a less expensive process compared to other adsorbents.
  •   The service life of this desiccant is very long.
April 7, 2016

A tremendous growth in the industrial area all over the world has been witnessed over the last few decades. The growth of any industry is directly proportional to its products and successful manufacturing of those products depends on various other elements. There are a number of natural effects that can cause significant impact on any industry and to its products as well. Water or moisture in the air is one such reason that may cause damage to the products related to chemical industry, pharmaceutical industry, food industry, electrical industry etc. In order to keep the products safe from moisture and water, various adsorbents or desiccants are used.

Now what are these desiccants? A desiccant is a substance that is used to remove water or moisture or for the purpose of purification of any particular product and any mixture of different substances. Different kinds of desiccants are used for different purposes. Some of those desiccants are silica gel, alumina oxide, zeolite, etc. The application of alumina oxide as a desiccant is largely seen in the industrial sectors. The best part of these desiccants is they don’t create any sort of reaction with any compound. These adsorbents (desiccants) are tasteless, odorless and are normally available in different forms other than solid one.


Talking about the desiccants, the name activated alumina is bound to arise since it is one of the most effective and well-known adsorbents, used in various industrial areas. It is basically a form of aluminium oxide and is widely used to keep important industrial products away from the effects of moisture and water. Alumina is vastly used for the purification of different complex mixture of compounds and for dehydration of compounds. There are lots of structural differences between alumina and silica gel which makes alumina a comparatively effective adsorbent for purification or dehydration.


Activated alumina is used for warm gas drying activated alumina because of its capability to work absolutely fine as a water adsorbent in higher temperature as well. This alumina is available in different sizes and in different specifications. Depending on the purpose and the nature of the substances need to be separated those specifications are applied. When it comes to adsorbing water from organic liquids such as LPG, Propylene, gasoline, steam etc, alumina is considered as the most preferred choice. Some of the features of these alumina balls are they are highly resistant to thermal shock, the surface area is excellent. They never shrink or swell in the water, they work completely fine at higher temperature.
Alumina is vastly available through online now. Numerous reputable adsorbents manufacturing companies are now offering their products through online now for the convenience of the industries.