Activated alumina is manufactured from aluminium hydroxide by dehydroxylating it in a way that produces a highly porous material.
Activated alumina is used for a wide range of adsorbent and catalyst applications including the adsorption of catalysts in polyethylene production, in hydrogen peroxide production, as a selective adsorbent for many chemicals including arsenic, fluoride, in sulfur removal from gas streams (Claus Catalyst process).
Activated alumina is also widely used to remove fluoride from drinking water. In the US, there are widespread programs to fluoridate drinking water.
Activated alumina technology can be expensive, and many of its costs are associated with disposal of the contaminated water that is created when alumina is purged of contaminants and “reset” for future use.