It is shown that analysis of X-ray scattering using the atomic pair distribution function makes it possible to reveal the differences in the fine structure of alumina samples, which have similar powder diffraction patterns. Such differences consist in different populations of tetrahedral and octahedral sites in the spinel structure of alumina or the existence of nuclei of a certain phase. The approach applied made it possible to explain the formation of different phases, baerite and pseudoboehmite, upon the rehydration of alumina obtained from gibbsite by thermal activation on a rotating metal plate or in a hot gas flow, respectively.
- aluminum hydroxide
- atomic pair distribution function
- X-ray diffraction
- X-ray scattering