Materials Science and Technology

Pilot plant for sol-gel nanoparticle synthesis

A sol-gel based semi commercial plant for manufacture of nanosize rare earth phosphates was designed and fabricated by NIIST with the technical and financial support of IRELTDC, Kollam. The various unit operations in the manufacturing process are, precipitation of lanthanum phosphate from dilute solution of lanthanum chloride, purification by repeated centrifugation, peptization to stable nano suspensions and finally spray calcination to flowing powders for various applications. The plant is generic in nature and is suitable for manufacture of nano powders of alumina, titania, ceria and rare earth compounds. Lanthanum phosphate in as precipitated form has particle size 100-120 nm and after peptization, the particle size is <60 nm. The spray calcined powders are in the range, 80-150 nm.