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A cenosphere is a lightweight, inert, hollow sphere made largely of silica and alumina and filled with air or inert gas., typically produced as a byproduct of coal combustion at thermal power plants. The color of cenospheres varies from gray to almost white and their density is about 0.4–0.8 g/cm3 (0.014–0.029 lb/cu in), which gives them a great buoyancy. Cf. glass microspheres.

Cenospheres are hard and rigid, light, waterproof, innoxious[citation needed], and insulative. This makes them highly useful in a variety of products, notably fillers. Cenospheres are now used as fillers in cement to produce low-density concrete[citation needed]. Recently, some manufacturers have begun filling metals and polymers with cenospheres to make lightweight composite materials with higher strength than other types of foam materials[citation needed]. Such composite materials are called syntactic foam. Aluminum-based syntactic foams are finding applications in the automotive sector.[citation needed]

Silver-coated cenospheres are used in conductive coatings, tiles and fabrics. Another use is in conductive paints for antistatic coatings and electromagnetic shielding.[1]


The word cenosphere is derived from two Greek words kenos (hollow, void) and sphaera (sphere), literally meaning "hollow spheres".


The process of burning coal in thermal power plants produces fly ash containing ceramic particles made largely of alumina and silica. They are produced at temperatures of 1,500 to 1,750 °C (2,730 to 3,180 °F) through complicated chemical and physical transformation. Their chemical composition and structure varies considerably depending on the composition of coal that generated them.

The ceramic particles in fly ash have three types of structures. The first type of particles are solid and are called precipitator. The second type of particles are hollow and are called cenospheres. The third type of particles are called plerospheres, which are hollow particles of large diameter filled with smaller size precipitator and cenospheres.

Fuel or oil cenospheres[edit]

The definition of cenosphere has changed over the last 30 years. Up until the 1990s it was limited to a largely carbonaceous sphere caused by the oxygen-deficient combustion of a liquid fuel droplet that was cooled below 200 °C (392 °F) before it was consumed. These fuel cenospheres indicated a combustion source using injected droplets of fuel or the open burning of heavy liquid fuels such as asphalt or a thermoplastic material that were bubbling as they burned; the bursting of the bubbles created airborne droplets of fuel.[2][3] This is still a common definition used in environmental microscopy to differentiate between the inefficient combustion of liquid fuels and the high temperature fly ash resulting from the efficient combustion of fuels with inorganic contaminants. Fuel cenospheres are always black.[4]

The refractory cenosphere as defined above is synonymous with microballoons or glass microspheres and excludes the traditional fuel cenospheres definition.[5] The use of the term cenosphere in place of microballoons is widespread, and it has become an additional definition.


  1. ^ "About our Products: Silver Coated Cenospheres". Camouflage.com.au. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  2. ^ McCrone, Walter C.; Draftz, Ronald G.; Delly, John Gustav (1967). The Particle Atlas. Ann Arbor Science Publishers. p. 349. 
  3. ^ Hopke, Philip K. (1985). Receptor Modeling in Environmental Chemistry. Wiley-Interscience. pp. 43–44. 
  4. ^ "Cenospheres from Diesel Fuel". Microlabgallery.com. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Brady, George S.; Clauser, Henry R., eds. (1979). Materials Handbook (Eleventh ed.). McGraw-Hill. p. 490. 

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pneumatic separation equipment for extraction of cenospheres

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pneumatic separation equipment for extraction of cenospheres

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22 news items

Greenpeace UK (blog)
Fri, 21 Mar 2014 04:51:41 -0700

It's World Water Day on Saturday and this year's theme highlights the facts that water is needed to produce nearly all forms of energy and the demand for both is rising. When looking at these pictures taken by our photographers from around the world, I ...
Times of India
Tue, 20 May 2014 21:41:42 -0700

Smart Data, Kanav Agronomy, Caliber Point, Diet Food and Cenosphere India are the petitioners who contended it was MADC's duty to supply them uninterrupted power. After this, court directed MSEDCL to supply power to them and referred the issue to ...
MarketWatch (press release)
Wed, 26 Jun 2013 08:33:45 -0700

Rising demand for efficiency and better materials with superior structural properties will drive the global microspheres market to $5.2 billion by 2018. U.S. leads the world in terms of usage of advanced materials to increase the efficiency and ...
Business Standard
Wed, 19 Jun 2013 11:16:55 -0700

Presently, fly ash utilisation in the state is only 54-55 per cent. About 31 per cent of the fly ash generated is used for land and mine void filling, 6.94 per cent for ash pond dyke raising and 9.74 per cent for other purposes like cenosphere, soil ...
Knoxville News Sentinel
Wed, 06 May 2009 21:30:00 -0700

'Cenosphere' sightings a sign TVA mess is moving; how much, how far unknown. Scott Barker. 12:00 AM, May 7, 2009. local news | tva pond breach and ash flood. Previous Next. Cenospheres and debris are contained by a skimmer while floating Wednesday ...
The Korea Herald
Sun, 13 Oct 2013 03:07:30 -0700

... for steel manufacturing and ready-mix concrete admixtures, among other products. An electrostatic precipitator will collect the fly ash, from which the new facility will be able to extract valuable industrial materials like cenosphere, unburnt ...
Wed, 07 May 2008 18:45:33 -0700

因为他们近日在此陨石坑的沉积物中发现了微小的漂珠(cenosphere),而这些漂珠与现代化石燃料――煤炭和石油高温燃烧所产生的颗粒非常相似,而不是由森林大火产生的,印度大学的西蒙·布来塞尔表示。他们的这一发现发 ...
Wed, 26 Jan 2011 08:30:00 -0800

그래스비 교수팀은 페름기 대멸종 직후의 지층에서 석탄재 층과 '세노스피어(cenosphere)' 입자를 발견했다. 세노스피어는 녹은 석탄 입자가 공기 중으로 퍼질 때 생긴다. 그래스비 교수는 “화산 폭발이 페름기 대멸종의 중요한 원인이라는 것을 보여주는 증거”라고 ...

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