Synthesis of high-purity zircon, zirconia, and silica nanopowders from local zircon sand

Musyarofah, Novia Dwi Lestari, Rizka Nurlaila, Nibras Fuadi Muwwaqor, Triwikantoro, Suminar Pratapa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


High-purity zircon (ZrSiO 4 ) nanopowder was successfully produced from Indonesian natural zircon sand using a low-cost purification approach via magnetic separation, immersion in HCl, and reaction with NaOH, followed by a top-down nanosizing process using wet ball-milling for 10 h and annealing at 200 °C for 2 h. Furthermore, polymorph zirconia (ZrO 2 – amorphous, tetragonal, and monoclinic) and silica (SiO 2 – amorphous and cristobalite) nanopowders were also successfully derived from the purified zircon powder using a bottom-up method via alkali fusion and co-precipitation processes followed by calcination. The crystallite size of the powders was estimated from X-ray diffraction (XRD) data analysis to give 40, 31, 61, and 149 nm, respectively, for the zircon, tetragonal- and monoclinic-zirconia, and cristobalite. Microstructural characteristics of the zircon, silica, and zirconia nanopowders were revealed in transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images which confirmed that the average sizes of the particles were in a good agreement with the XRD estimated values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6639-6647
Number of pages9
JournalCeramics International
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019


  • Amorphous silica
  • Cristobalite
  • Monoclinic zirconia
  • Nanopowder
  • Tetragonal zirconia
  • Zircon


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