Synthesis of Lithium Aluminates

The synthesis of lithium aluminates for tritium production requires formation of nanostructured phases. These can be made by solid-state reaction, by appropriate mixing of oxide powders [84] or by sol-gel methods [80, 85-87]. One technique is the peroxide route where y-Al2O3 and LiCO3 are dissolved in a peroxide (H2O2) solution. Evaporation of water and calcining the solid residue results in nanophase LiAlO2.

Sol-gel synthesis of LiAlO2 involves an alcohol-alkoxide route. Different alcohols and alkoxide combinations can be used. The alkoxide and alcohols are mixed and hydrolyzed by addition of pure water. The mixture is then gelled by heating to 60°C and is subjected to hydrothermal treatment in an autoclave. The morphology of the crystalline phases is dependent on the length of the alkoxy groups used in the alkoxide-alcohol mixing step. For example, rod-like crystals are produced with butoxide and propoxide mixtures.