Zirconia Supports

Zirconia is a naturally occurring zirconium compound that is used, among other things, for high-performance ceramics. The outstanding property of this non-metallic, inorganic material is its excellent resistance to acids and alkalis, as well as its high mechanical and thermal strength.
In addition to its high thermal expansion (α = 11 x 10-6 / K, similar to some types of steel), zirconia has a low thermal conductivity (2.5 to 3 W/mK) and shows also some properties of oxygen ion conduction at elevated temperatures.
The chemical behavior critically depends on the thermal treatment of the material, since the three modifications of zirconia (monoclinic, tetragonal, cubic) are corresponding to the applied calcining processes. Doping with other metal oxides may stabilize the respective structures, often the tetragonal form. There are for example variants of zirconia with titania, ceria, tungsten oxide or silica.
In our own processes we generally employ raw materials with a very high purity and try to avoid the addition of any organic binders, which would introduce other metal oxides.
Besides pure zirconia carriers, shown below, we can also create carriers starting from doped zirconia variants or create mixed oxide carriers by physical mixing in order to match specific customer needs. Existing examples include sulfated or tungstated zirconia, which are employed in some refinery catalysts.
Please send us your specific request for a tailor-made zirconia-based carrier!

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Explore our Zirconia carrier portfolio – The EX-Zxxx-series


While the most common shape are cylindrical extrudates (e.g., with a 3 mm diameter), Exacer has developed other shapes as well.
Particularly interesting is the shaping as a sphere (size can be changed from 3.5 – 6 mm), which resembles the surface area and pore volume of the extrudates, but leads to a body with a superior mechanical stability against attrition – one of the weak points of zirconia carriers in general. With these EXAct spheres the risk of losing noble metal in an impregnation process is strongly reduced.
Here you can find more general information on our EXAct spheres process.
In general, zirconia supports are usually carriers made to individual requests, since every process requires a different combination of surface area to the mass, needs a different pressure drop and so on. Therefore, the best model is a tailor-made development for the specific customer’s requests.

Please contact us, if you are interested in a zirconia-based support!