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Preparation and Characterization of Nano structured Materials from Fly Ash: A Waste from Thermal Power Stations, by High Energy Ball Milling

K Thomas Paul1, SK Satpathy1, I Manna2, KK Chakraborty1 and GB Nando1*

Author Affiliations

1 Rubber Technology Centre, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, West Bengal, 721302, India

2 Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, West Bengal, 721302, India

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2007, 2:397-404  doi:10.1007/s11671-007-9074-4

Published: 11 July 2007


The Class F fly ash has been subjected to high energy ball milling and has been converted into nanostructured material. The nano structured fly ash has been characterized for its particle size by using particle size analyzer, specific surface area with the help of BET surface area apparatus, structure by X-ray diffraction studies and FTIR, SEM and TEM have been used to study particle aggregation and shape of the particles. On ball milling, the particle size got reduced from 60 μm to 148 nm by 405 times and the surface area increased from 0.249 m2/gm to 25.53 m2/gm i.e. by more than 100%. Measurement of surface free energy as well as work of adhesion found that it increased with increased duration of ball milling. The crystallite was reduced from 36.22 nm to 23.01 nm for quartz and from 33.72 nm to 16.38 nm for mullite during ball milling to 60 h. % crystallinity reduced from 35% to 16% during 60 h of ball milling because of destruction of quartz and hematite crystals and the nano structured fly ash is found to be more amorphous. Surface of the nano structured fly ash has become more active as is evident from the FTIR studies. Morphological studies revealed that the surface of the nano structured fly ash is more uneven and rough and shape is irregular, as compared to fresh fly ash which are mostly spherical in shape.

High energy ball mill; Fly ash; Nanostructured materials; Quartz; Mullite