Silica or Silicon Dioxide is mainly found in nature in the form of sandstone, silica sand or quartzite. It acts as a starting material for the production of silicate glasses and ceramics. It is considered to be a widely abundant oxide material in the earth’s crust. Silica is said to exist in an amorphous form (vitreous silica) or in a variety of crystalline forms. It can also exist as a non-crystalline oxidation product on the surface of silicon or silicon compounds.
It’s a group IV metal oxide having strong abrasive resistance powers, insulation and high thermal stability. It is insoluble in all acids other than hydrogen fluoride (HF). The oxide is widely used for the production of ceramic materials. It occurs in three crystalline forms: quartz, tridymite, cristobalite and there are two variations of each of these (high and low).
Where Silicon Dioxide Is Found
This oxide is found in food in the form of Silica and never present in its original or free form. Some common food items where this material is found are fruits, vegetables, Nuts, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds and Whole Grains. It is also found in water in the form of silica acid. Soft water is a poor source of this oxide whereas hard water is rich in this mineral.
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