Chemistry of alumina, reactions in aqueous solution and its application in water treatment

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Due to the presence and significance of alumina in the natural aquatic environment and its increasing application in drinking and wastewater purification, the knowledge of the structure of alumina and its possible interactions with organic and inorganic compounds in water are of great importance. This is of particular importance in both the understanding of natural aquatic environment processes and efficient industrial applications. The chemistry of alumina reactions in water is complex. The adsorption ability of alumina towards organic and inorganic compounds might be influenced by several factors such as: surface characteristics of the adsorbent (surface area, density, pore volume, porosity, pore size distribution, pH(PZC) as well as mechanical strength and purity), pH of the solution, ionic strength, composition of water and the physicochemical properties of adsorbates. The aim of this paper is to give a brief review of the properties of alumina and its reactivity with organic and inorganic compounds present in aqueous solutions. It also summarises the usage of alumina and alumina supported phases in water treatment technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-48
Number of pages30
JournalAdvances in Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • water
  • surface
  • alumina
  • alumina supported phases
  • reactions
  • oxide-solution interfaces
  • catalytic ozonation
  • adsorption
  • catalytic wet air oxidation
  • acid-base
  • metal-edta complexes
  • hydroxyl groups
  • dissolved organic-matter
  • water treatment
  • wet air oxidation
  • zero charge
  • heterogeneous catalytic ozonation
  • triple-layer model
  • gamma-alumina


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