I was reading about the procedures for the removal of peroxides from ethereal solvents, and a procedure which seems to have survived to our days is filtration through a column of "activated alumina" (which, if my understanding is correct, is alumina in its "gamma" form).

What I was wondering is: what happens to alumina? My guess is that it could form a sort of stable complex with (hydro?)peroxides, just like urea or carbonates do. Yet, I couldn't find an explanation.

If a complex is formed, how stable is it? For instance, if the same alumina employed was dried, either via evaporation at room temperature, or at high temperature in an effort to obtain, again, its gamma form, would it decompose violently? Or maybe would it release oxygen, or gaseous peroxides?

And, if alumina has to be handled with care after use, is there a way to dispose it safely, or (better) to "reduce" it, maybe making it usable again for the same process?


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