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The zirconium silicate, ZrSiO4, is a chemical compound that occurs in nature as the mineral zircon and as powdered material. It is typically colorless, but impurities induce various colors; it has a density of 4.56 g/cm3, hardness of 7.5 Mohs scale; and it is insoluble in water, acids, and alkali. It is a nontoxic substance, but prolonged inhalation may result in pulmonary fibrosis known as silicosis.

Mesoporous materials containing sulfur and zirconium have high surface areas that make them useful as supports for metal catalysts in several catalytic reactions. However, the acid strength of pure silicate is low; incorporation of sulfur increases the number of acid sites to a level that is sufficient for catalytic reactions to occur. The zirconium atoms in the mesoporous silicate are dispersed throughout the matrix, which is composed of silica and the tetragonal form of zirconia; these sites have an adsorption energy of -115 kJ/mol.

zirconium silicate is also available in a variety of particle sizes and works as an opacifier to reduce the amount of other opacifiers required in glaze recipes. The smaller the particle size, the more opacity is obtained. Zircopax is no longer being produced, but a number of other opacifiers with similar particle sizes can be used in its place.

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