Journal of Metals, Materials and Minerals

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Porous silica network was prepared from sodium metasilicate (Na2SiO3) at room temperature (27C) using hydrochloric acid (HCl) as catalyst through the sol-gel method. The gel was dried at 120C for 1 day and calcined at 800C for 3 hours and the material obtained characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The results showed the formation of amorphous silica particles of average sizes 598 nm with ordered porous network of pore sizes ranging from 0.18-0.91 ?m. This synthetic route uses sodium metasilicate as commercial precursor without pore forming templates which could be useful for large scale production.

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