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Silicon dioxide

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Silicon dioxide
Silicon dioxide tetrahedron.png
Systematic name Silicon Dioxide
Other names Quartz, Sand, Silica.
Molecular formula SiO2
Molar mass Molar mass::60.0843 g/mol
Appearance White/Clear powdery crystals
CAS number CAS number::7631-86-9 or 112926-00-8
Density and phase Density::2-2.3 g/ml
Solubility in water 0.012 g/100 ml
Melting point Melting point::1710°C
Boiling point Boiling point::2230°C
Crystal structure Tetrahedral
MSDS Material safety data sheet
Main hazards Lung damage if inhaled

NFPA 704 svg.png

R/S statement R: R20 Harmful if inhaled
S: S25 Avoid contact with eyes
RTECS number VV7565000
Related compounds
Silicon sulfide Silicon monoxide
Lead dioxide Carbon dioxide
Tin dioxide Germanium dioxide
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Disclaimer and references

Silicon Dioxide is a commonly known inorganic chemical compound composed of both silicon and oxygen. It is more commonly known by its other names: sand, quartz, or glass. It is found in abundance around the earth and has many practical uses, which we see in our everyday lives.


Quartz formation
SiO2, or silicon dioxide, is rough and grainy, and there is an abundance of it everywhere. Its size varies from 0.1-2mm. It is mainly all composed of quartz. It is a very durable material that can easily be found. [1] Quartz rocks (also silicon dioxide), are usually clear, but can also be found in almost every color! Their size varies with each, from small grains of sand, to huge mountainsides!


Sand dunes

Silicon Dioxide is more commonly known to us as sand. It is the most abundant compound in the earth's crust. There are many deserts around the world, each containing billions of grains of sand, all just sitting there. Beaches all around the world are filled with billions of grains of sand, and all of it is silicon dioxide! Most sand found on the beach is made from rocks that have been weathered down into tiny pieces, it also can be found as quartz rocks. Quartz can easily be located upon most beaches around the world. Most quartz are a clear or white color, and are found in many shapes and sizes. Quartz is found in many everyday things, but the most widely found place is in watches! Almost every watch contains some quartz in it, and most of them will say "quartz" right on it. You can also find silicon dioxide in a different form; glass. All glass contains silicon dioxide in it. Glass can be formed into any kind of shape imaginable. This can be done through the process of glassblowing.


Shaping glass
Silicon Dioxide is used in the manufacturing of glass, ceramics, insulation, cosmetics, water filtration, food additive, and pharmaceuticals. It also is used to make rubber, paper, and insecticide products. [2] Silicon Dioxide is mostly abundant in the making of glass, where every piece contains it. Around 994 million tons of sand are manufactured each year! 90% of this amount goes into building all the roads. There are many uses for this compound, and that is great, since there is such an abundance of it! In the process of glass making, quartz sand, and some other chemicals, are added together, and heated up until they are all melted together. Once melted, the mixture is cooled down, forming glass, and poured into a mold that defines the glass' shape. You can also shape it into any form after you heat it up a little bit. This is more commonly done when shaping glass vases and bowls. One common creative way of using silicon dioxide, is in the art of glassblowing. Glassblowing is a process of shaping molten glass into various shapes and designs. The main tools used in glassblowing are: a blowpipe, shears, the punty, and blocks. The glass is heated up to about 1700o Celsius, and turns a palish white color. It involves a process of using three different furnaces to aid the shaping. Glassblowing has been around for a long time. It originated at around 50 B.C. along the Palestinian coast. Glassblowing was very prominent among the Romans in their early days, and since then, many cultures have picked up on this art, and made various amazing pieces of glass that are very beautiful. This technique is still used commonly today, and is fairly easy for anyone to do. There are many courses you can take to help get involved in this form of art.


Silicosis in lungs

Silicon Dioxide does have a few harmful properties about it. When it is in its powdery form, if inhaled, it can get lodged in the lungs or esophagus, where it may cause silicosis. Silicosis may cause fever, coughing, exhaustion, and the skin may turn a pale blue color. In some rare cases, silicosis has been known to even cause cancer. [3] This makes it a pretty dangerous thing! Luckily, it is common knowledge not to eat sand or rocks, so most people have nothing to worry about.


  1. Silicon Dioxide Structure NCBI, PubChem, 2011
  2. Silicon Advameg, Inc., 2011
  3. What is Silicon Dioxide? Mark Orwell,, 1999-2011.