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Ascorbic acid as a dispersant for concentrated alumina nanopowder suspensions

Çınar, Simge
The stabilization of concentrated nanopowder suspensions is crucial for many industrial applications. Yet, controlling the suspension viscosity is challenging for nanopowder suspension systems. In this study, we examined the adsorption of L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) on alumina surfaces and the related reduction in viscosity of the suspensions. Interactions between the ascorbic acid and the alumina surface were investigated by in situ ATR-FTIR and zeta potential measurements. It was shown that ascorbic acid forms complexes with the alumina surface through ligand exchange mechanisms. The optimum concentration of ascorbic acid for minimum suspension viscosity was determined. The maximum achievable solids content could be increased to around 0.35 by the addition of only 1.0 wt.% of dry powder ascorbic acid. Because ascorbic acid is easy to use, inexpensive, and a non-toxic organic additive, it has great potential to be used as a dispersant in a variety of industrial applications, from dilute to concentrated systems of intermediates or products.