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CENOSPHERES - microspheres, cennaspheres, fillite (page in English only)


The name ‘cenosphere’ comes from two Greek words: ‘kenos’ (hollow) and ‘sphaira'(sphere).

Cenospheres (or alumino silicates) can be formed at coal fired power stations. After burning of the coal, the resulting pulverized fuel ash (PFA) is removed in the form of a slurry into lagoons. Here most of the ash particles settle out. Only a very small portion floats to the surface. These floating particles are minute hollow spheres also known as cenospheres. Cenospheres are produced at temperatures of 1,500 to 1,750 Celsius through complicated chemical and physical transformation.
Their chemical composition and physical structure varies considerably depending on the burning process and the composition of coal that generated them.
As a result, a chemically and physically different type of cenospheres occurs in almost each single deposit. Their typical size varies between 5 and 500 microns.

Cenospheres grades can be classified into different categories according to their:

–  color, such as white / off white or light grey / grey
–  chemical analysis, such as Al2O3, SiO2, Fe2O3 , K2O and/or Na2O content
–  physical properties, such as density and (compressive) strength

As a result the different grades of cenospheres have their own typical industrial applications, to name a few:

–  a component in lightweight insulating (refractory) products
–  a filler for paints, lacquers and plastics
–  a light weight aggregate in concretes
–  a filler in soundproofing bituminous rubbers,…….. etc.,etc.

The main benefits of cenospheres are: reduction of weight, increased filler loading, reduction of shrinkage, reduction of viscosity, increased fireproofing, increased lubricity, increased refractoriness and transport savings.

Today 90% of the sources for cenospheres are located outside the European Community. In order to import and bring cenospheres on to european market, the supplier has to be registered for REACh. Plomp Mineral Services is one of the few european companies that is fully REACh compliant and has registered all uses and applications for cenospheres.

Plomp Mineral Services is able to supply cenospheres based on specific gravity, size distribution, color, chemistry, or a combination of these criteria to meet your specific needs. Various grades of WHITE CENOSPHERES , off-white and GREY CENOSPHERES in various types of packaging can be offered.

Other trade names used for cenospheres are: microspheres, cennaspheres, e-spheres, enviro spheres, fillite. Sometimes cenospheres are classified as glass spheres or ceramic spheres.