Dehydration of Hydrous Zirconia with Methanol


  • Contributing Editor—B.M. Moudgil

  • Supported by Magnesium Elektron Inc., Manchester, England.


The washing of hydrous zirconia with alcohols to reduce the incidence of hard agglomerates on subsequent drying is well known. The results of methanol dehydration of hydrous zirconia (zirconium hydroxide), [Zr4(μ-OH)8(OH)8(H2O)8]˙ xH2O, show that only μ-OH groups are unaffected. This suggests two things: First, the removal of nonbridging hydrooxo groups and water with alcohols such as methanol leads to a reduction/elimination of hard agglomerates. Second, hard agglomerate formation is associated with condensation reactions involving nonbridging hydroxo groups (Zr-OH+HO-Zr→Zr-O-Zr+H2O).