Rice Husk Ash as a Potential Source of Silicon and Its Varied Applications
10 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2020 Last revised: 14 Feb 2020
Date Written: February 12, 2019
Si is the second most abundant element in the Earth's crust and possess potential role as an insulator, semiconductor in solid-state devices ,used in household (e.g., sealants for cooking apparatus), aeroplane (e.g., seals), medicine and dentistry (e.g., tooth impression moulds) etc. Silicon plays an important role in the photovoltaic industries, as solar panels made from silicon, solar energy (from the sun) is converted into usable DC (direct current) that may eventually power our homes, cars, personal devices, produce domestic and industrial electricity and power remote telecommunications, weather and irrigation facilities. For these applications a large amount of silicon is to be produced every year. Therefore an alternative to obtain silicon from an economical source is rice husk ash (RHA) which is a by-product of agriculture waste. The production of Si being cost effective is desirable. India has a major agribusiness sector which has achieved remarkable successes over a last three and half decades. Agricultural waste or residue is made up of organic compounds; rice husk is one example of alternative material since it contains about 20% ash which can be retrieved as amorphous, chemically reactive silica which possess great potential. Silica has various applications it can be used as filler, catalyst support, adsorbent and silicon and its compounds can be synthesized through it. This silica (SiO2) can be thermally reduced further to form Silicon (Si) via use of Microwave Ashing, Acid Digestion etc. This paper reviews the advantages of such a non-conventional energy source and the methods of synthesizing these silicon-based materials from RHs and their applications in filler, additive, abrasive, oil adsorbent, sweeping component, suspension agent for porcelain enamels etc.
Keywords: photovoltaic industries; rice husk; solar panels; silica; synthesizing; silicon
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