PQ’s silica products consist of silica gels and precipitated silicas that are used in a wide range of applications. The Performance Chemicals business supplies silicas used in foods & beverages, surface coatings, oil processing, and personal care; these grades are covered below. For information on PQ's silica products used in catalyst and antiblocking applications, please go to the Catalysts Group home page.
Silica gels and precipitated silicas are a form of silicon dioxide, the same compound that occurs in nature as sand. However, sand is a crystalline, non-porous form of silicon dioxide, whereas silica gels and precipitated silicas are amorphous (non-crystalline) and highly porous. By carefully controlling surface area, pore volume, particle size distribution, impurities, coatings, and other key characteristics, we can make a range of products optimized for different end uses.
BRITESORB silicas are synthetic, amorphous, odorless, tasteless insoluble white powders that function as a selective adsorbent, particularly in the food and brewing industries. BRITESORB silicas have excellent filtration properties and exibit minimal dusting. They are produced by the reaction between high purity sodium silicate and a mineral acid to form a hydrogel. This is then washed and milled to form Britesorb hydrogels or dried and milled to form BRITESORB xerogels. The key features of these products are: high purity for food grade applications, high surface area and controlled porosity for high protein selectivity and controlled particle size for consistent performance at the filter.
SORBSIL silicas are engineered for the adsorption of trace contaminants in edible oil or biofuel feedstocks. SORBSIL silicas follow the same production route as BRITESORB but are modified for more effective removal of impurities or to provide superior flow properties.
The paints and coatings industry demand for efficient and consistent matting agents is fulfilled by the GASIL and SILCRON range of micronized synthetic silicas. This range offers matting solutions for the different sectors of the coatings industry, from coil to industrial wood, from leather to plastic coatings. Particle size control, weight efficiency and good dispersibility are among the features of these products that make them the additive of choice. Another important application of silicas is into ink-jet media (paper, plastic etc.) coatings where the high internal pore volume and the controlled particle size improve print definition, colour density and gamut.
The SORBOSIL brand is a range of dental silicas that deliver high cleaning performance with controlled abrasion, act as thickening agents and as sensory particles. PQ’s expertise in particle technology, processing and quality management assures consistent provision of high purity and effective products.
PQ’s NEOSIL, ALUSIL and MICROCAL brands represent a range of microparticulate free flow aids that help eliminate costly poor flow and caking problems associated with problem powders. The range also include liquid carrying grades to enable cost-effective carrying of valuable food supplements or flavourings. This range of fillers/carriers is also used widely in general industrial applications.