New generation of nanoporous organic and hybrid aerogels for industrial applications Fri, 14 Aug 2020 13:44:05 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Online aerogel seminar 2020 on 16 – 18 September 2020 Fri, 14 Aug 2020 13:43:02 +0000 ]]>

Aerogel samples produced by partners of the NanoHybrids consortium. Picture: C. Remmersmann/TUTECH

The Fifth International Seminar on Aerogels has been postponed until September 2021 due to the global COVID-19 crisis. But, as they say in Hollywood: the show must go on! In its place we will organize an “Online Aerogel Seminar 2020″ on the original seminar dates (16-18 September, 2020) with selected oral presentations by video conference, online poster sessions accompanied by 1-2 minute videos for each poster, and webinars about various aerogel topics. The poster prize will be awarded as usual. Companies are invited to submit video materials about their new aerogel products for an industrial session.


The aerogel community invites scientists, engineers, students, and industrial partners working with or interested in learning about aerogels to the premiere international conference on the subject. We welcome contributions on any and all topics related to aerogels including synthesis, characterization, and applications in various fields. Our growing community is eager to host contributions from all fields and from all over the world.

Source and more information:

Save the Date: 5th INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR ON AEROGELS in Hamburg on September 2020, 16-18 2020 Mon, 04 Nov 2019 09:16:08 +0000 ]]>

Picture: Mines Paris / Gediminas Markevicius

We’d like to draw your attention to the next  INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR
ON AEROGELS which will be held  in Germany /Hamburg on September 2020, 16-18.

This event is held every 2 years. Last time it took place in Hamburg
in 2018 and hosted 230 participants from all over the world. We welcome all scientists who are dealing or interested in aerogels.

The call for paper will be published in December 2019.

Taste the Sky: The World’s Lightest Dessert – whets your appetite on aerogels Tue, 15 Oct 2019 07:00:25 +0000 ]]> This fantastic video by Bompas & Parr tells you the story about aerogels and the Institute of Thermal Separation Processes:

Video: Taste the Sky: The World’s Lightest Dessert


NanoHybrids has been featured in VDI-Nachrichten Wed, 09 Oct 2019 08:01:16 +0000 ]]> Aerogels have now captured the interest of German’s weekly VDI-Nachrichten. VDI-Nachrichten ar well-renowned for their insights into current trends of engineering, technological trends, research and development.


“Porous Materials from Polysaccharides” and COST AERoGELS CA18125 at EPNOE conference on 24 October 2019 in Aveiro Mon, 08 Jul 2019 07:12:18 +0000 ]]>

Cellulosic aerogels, produced at MINES ParisTech. Copyright MINES ParisTech.

A joint session of the COST Action AERoGELS CA18125 and “Porous Materials from Polysaccharides” will take place within the EPNOE conference in Aveiro (Portugal) on the 24th October 2019. This scientific session is jointly organized by WG2 and WG3 of the AERoGELS CA18125 COST Action.

Abstract submission for posters can be made through the platform of the EPNOE conference. The abstract deadline and early bird registration is the 20th July 2019.

Tatiana Budtova and colleagues are looking forward to meeting you in Aveiro. Please spread this information.

Great future for biobased aerogels – successful PhD defense of Lucile Druel Mon, 13 May 2019 08:30:27 +0000 ]]>

Picture: DLR

On 10 May, 2019 Lucile Druel, early-stage researcher at Armines-CEMEF defended her PhD thesis successfully. Supervised by Tatiana Budtova, Lucile did her research on cellulose based aerogels in the course of the NanoHybrids project.

Read her and Tatiana’s story here:
Great future for biobased aerogels

Launching COST ACTION 18125 AERoGELS – Prof Smirnova nominated as Vice Chair Thu, 09 May 2019 10:39:04 +0000 ]]>

Groupphoto of COSTAction_AERoGELS Copyright: Dr Mónica Pérez Cabero, Science Officer at COST Association; COST Action AERoGELS

April 30, 2019 Brussels – 36 countries have confirmed their participation in the Horizon2020-funded COST Action (ref. 18125) launched project.

42 members of the Management Committee have participated in the kick-off meeting of the project entitled Advanced Engineering and Research of aeroGels for Environment and Life Sciences.

During the day, MC has elected the projects’ Chair, Vice-Chair, Science communication manager, STSM Coordinator, ITC Conference manager and WG Leaders to establish the Core management group. Short and long term plans were established to fulfill the activities of the launched project (AERoGELS). Action Chair is Dr Carlos A GARCIA GONZALEZ, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Vice Chair is Prof Irina SMRINOVA, Hamburg University of Technology, Germany, who coordinated NanoHybrids. Many researchers from the NanoHybrids team participate in this COST action. Thus, the research community will continue their collaborative efforts to drive aerogels towards more knowledge and innovation.

Kick-off meeting of COST Action AERoGELS – Vice Chair Prof. Smirnova. Copyright: Dr Mónica Pérez Cabero, Science Officer at COST Association; COST Action AERoGELS

AERoGELS is intended to bring together the knowledge on research and technology of aerogels at the European level from academia, industry and regulatory experts.

The full potential of these special class of nanostructured mesoporous materials are still to be assessed for various additional applications. In this Action, the use of aerogels will be specifically explored in the context of environmental and life sciences applications joining the knowledge and efforts of the most renowned experts on cutting-edge aerogel technology, on advanced characterization of materials as well as on biomedical and environmental research.

Aerogels will be assessed from a materials performance point of view but also regarding health and environmental implications. AERoGELS COST ACTION 18125 will set a forum to disseminate knowledge to society and to train European young researchers on research, innovation and entrepreneurial skills via technical schools, publications and STSM exchanges.

The interdisciplinary collaborations to be promoted within this Action are expected to yield innovative and integrated solutions for environment and for life sciences. The long-term scope of this Action is to develop an aerogel technology able to improve the welfare of European people and to move towards cleaner and smarter production in Europe.

NanoHybrids project conclusion on 30 April 2019 Thu, 09 May 2019 07:00:26 +0000 ]]>

Pilot scale production of aerogels produced at BASF Lemförde. Pictures: BASF Lemförde

NanoHybrids started on 1st November 2015 to develop a new generation of nanoporous organic and hybrid aerogels for industrial applications. Main objective has been the upscaling from laboratory to pilot scale production.

After 42 months NanoHybrids reached its main goals: a number of novel bioabased, organic and hybrid aerogel particles can now be produced in pilot scale for the first time. The combination of experiments and modelling resulted in improved production processes with defined parameters.

Main achievements can be summarized as follows:

  • Production of different types of aerogel particles with Jet Cutter technology and emulsion technique
  • Production of bio-aerogel particles by emulsion technique and continuous solvent exchange in 50 L scale
  • Modelling of different steps of aerogel production processes established
  • Process of supercritical drying of aerogel particles in industrial scale firstly proved
  • Prototypes are being tested

The knowledge has been made available for further research and development via a number of open access publications and reports. The project ended on 30 April 2019.

Read the Final Public Report for more details

NANOHY-Synthetic_Aerogels_Fact Sheet
NANOHYBRIDS-Pilot Plant at TUHH_Fact Sheet
NANOHYBRIDS-Foodgrade__Aerogels_Fact Sheet
NANOHYBRIDS-Bio-based__Aerogels_Fact Sheet

Public deliverables


More results are available for download here


Jet Cutter Technology as new production method for large amounts of aerogel beads identified by NanoHybrids Tue, 30 Apr 2019 14:56:09 +0000 ]]>

NanoHybrids achieved the production of bio-based aerogel beads in industrial scale for the first time. Two main methods have been developed, tested and employed. On one hand, well-known emulsion-gelation has been transferred into a continuous process especially suitable for small aerogel beads; on the other hand, the jetcutting method has been identified as a potential continuous production method for biopolymer-based aerogels with larger size. Production throughput of both methods can be upscaled to industrial scale.

JetCutter technology

The JetCutter, developed and produced by geniaLab GmbH, Brunswick, is a particle production technology for the synthesis of monodisperse beads. The production process is easy, clean and flexible. With minor changes a wide range of bead diameters from few 100 µm to several millimeters can be achieved. Bead generation frequencies can be as high as 9000 beads per second and nozzle. Depending on the final bead diameter throughputs up to 72 kg/h can be achieved. The JetCutter is a reliable technology for elegant scale-up from lab-scale to production-scale.

Producing bio-based aerogels with JetCutter from geniaLab GmbH at DLR. Copyright DLR

Bio-based aerogel bead production via Jet Cutting technology

Production of alginate beads via the jet cutting method has been reported before; however, they were not converted into aerogels. In the course of NanoHybrids, several poly-saccharide-based aerogel beads have now been produced, e.g. with amidated pectin, sodium alginate, and chitosan as precursors. JetCutting followed by gelation, solvent exchange and supercritical drying with carbon dioxide resulted in the formation of spherical aerogel particles with narrow particle size distributions in the range of 400 to 1500 µm and a specific surface area of around 500 m2/g.

How the jet cutting method works:

Throughout the jet cutting method, a liquid jet of biopolymer solution is cut by a rotating cutting disc. Obtained liquid cylinders fall along their trajectory to the ground. Throughout falling, due to surface tension cylinders form spheres, liquid drops are collected at the end of the particle trajectory. 

Application potential

Polysaccharide aerogel beads with their physical, chemical and functional properties can be used in applications such as separation techniques, catalysis or as carriers for drug delivery. Often, spherical shape of the particles is desirable due to easier handling and application.

With the aim to reduce energy consumption, the biopolymer-based aerogel particles synthesized by NanoHybrids were tested as humidity absorbers in drying units for home appliances, particularly for dishwasher. It has been shown that for several cycles of absorption and desorption of humidity, aerogel particles are stable with an absorption capacity of around 20 wt. %.

Moreover, foodgrade production of alginate aerogels is also possible with the JetCutter, thus enabling aerogels for food applications.

Dive into the scientific results

Polysaccharide-Based Aerogel Bead Production via Jet Cutting Method

Review on the production of polysaccharide aerogel particles

All NanoHybrids publications until 30 April 2019



Call for abstracts for Second International Youth Summer School at MUCTR “Aerogels: From laboratory to industry” Mon, 29 Apr 2019 09:30:08 +0000 ]]>

International Youth Summer School at MUCTR in2019. Picture: MUCTR.

On 21-23 August 2019 the International Youth Summer School “Aerogels: from laboratory to industry” will take place in Moscow, Russia, for the second time.

The Summer School will focus on various aerogels applications, modeling, commercialization and transfer to industry. Among the participants of the first Summer School in 2017 were representatives from different countries – Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Serbia, France, India, Turkey, Norway. MUCTR is glad to continue this practice, which contributes to the long-term development of relations in the framework of international cooperation, the unification of representatives of the Russian and foreign aerogel community.

Conference chairs will be Prof. Dr. Menshutina Natalia, Mendeleev University, and Prof. Dr. Irina Smirnova, Hamburg University of Technology.

The team at MUCTR really wants to meet with everybody in Moscow. They are planning both a rich scientific program and interesting cultural events.

Deadline for submission of abstracts and registration: 10 June 2019

More information: Aerogel school 2019_Moscow (PDF)

Insights on first International Youth Summer School 2017




The Pilot Plant at TUHH – European solution for aerogel tech. translation – Fact Sheet Thu, 25 Apr 2019 07:00:56 +0000 ]]> About the TUHH pilot plant

The TUHH pilot plant for aerogel production comprises of two high-pressure units (64 L & 25 L capacity) to perform the supercritical carbon dioxide drying needed for aerogel production.
The unit is enclosed in a ventilated cabin satisfying the ATEX norms. Each unit is operated independently in closed loop setting with carbon dioxide recycling. Aerogel particles, beads and monoliths can be processed (100‘s of liters) for product prototyping.
Customized aerogel processing and parameter settings investigations can also be carried out upon request.

Supercritical carbon dioxide drying

Supercritical carbon dioxide drying is a methodology that allows to remove the solvent inside the gel without collapsing the intrinsic pore structure of the gel network. Several industrially available solvents such as ethanol, propanol, methanol, acetone, ethyl-acetate, DMSO and others can be extracted with this technique. The modern version of supercritical carbon dioxide drying is carried out between 40-65 °C and 90-120 bar pressure. The drying time mainly depends on the gel dimensions, gel chemistry and the solvent choice. Initial supercriticalcarbon dioxide drying feasibility tests with proprietary formulations can be checked upon request.

Aerogel processing

Aerogel production is a three step process involving
1. Gel production
2. Solvent exchange (for water based gels)
3. Supercritical carbon dioxide drying
Gels can be processed as particles (<100 μm), beads (0.1-3.0 mm) or in monolithic form.

If gels are processed in solvents incompatible with supercritical carbon dioxide (example: water); solvent exchange to a compatible solvent (example: ethanol) is necessary. Solvent recycling (>95 %) feasibility can also be demonstrated with ethanol-water systems.

Download the fact sheet here
NANOHYBRIDS-Pilot Plant at TUHH_Fact Sheet

Foodgrade Aerogels – Intelligent nutrient and drug release – Fact Sheet Wed, 24 Apr 2019 07:00:56 +0000 ]]> Alginate and cellulose based aerogels proved to be appropriate for the application in the food sector: edibility, renewability, sustainability and relatively low cost of these polysaccharides make them an attractive starting material of functional food. The aqueous biopolymer solutions can easily be processed to highly porous networks without the need and production of health endangering substances. For instance, the substance requirements for the production of small alginate particles are limited to calciumcarbonate, acetic acid, ethanol and rapeseed oil.

Properties and advantages

Small (1 – 30 μm) and spherical aerogel particles are advantageous for consumption, particularly for a comfortable mouthfeel during chewing and swallowing.
The accessibility of the pores and the affinity of the surface to flavors, drugs and other functional ingredients are important factors for the application of aerogels as additives in food and as drug delivery systems. The controlled drug release depends on factors such as pH dependent swelling and dissolution, which contribute to the overall release kinetics. Furthermore, release profiles vary on network density and cross-linking degree allowing the precise modulation of release kinetics. Drug delivery kinetics may also be varied by the application of coating on the particle’s surface.

Application potential

Perhaps the most studied application area suggested for polysaccharide aerogels is drug delivery, as aerogels may serve as a hosting matrix for active compounds and nutraceuticals. In food formulations, polysaccharide aerogels could also function as dietary fibre (e.g., cellulose) or as a source of energy. They can also be utilized as mechanical support structures in food packaging and water absorbents in active packaging.

Dowload the fact sheet here
NANOHYBRIDS-Foodgrade Aerogels Fact Sheet


Bio-Based Aerogels: From renewable resources to ultra- light nanostructured materials – Fact Sheet Tue, 23 Apr 2019 07:00:14 +0000 ]]> Bio-aerogels: a new class of versatile and functional biobased materials

Bio-aerogels are one of the classes of aerogel materials that exhibit open-porous nanofibrillar network. They are based on natural polymers such as polysaccharides or proteins. Bio-aerogels are produced by sol-gel synthesis via biopolymer dissolution followed by chain self-assembly and drying with supercritical carbon dioxide. No toxic compounds or processes are involved in bio-aerogel synthesis, and thus they are “humanfriendly” materials. In the frame of Nanohybrids project, alginate, cellulose, chitosan and their composite aerogels were prepared on a large scale as particles either by emulsion or Jet-Cutter techniques.

Properties and advantages

Bio-aerogels possess amazing properties such as high porosity (>90 %), very low density and high specific surface area (200-500 m2/g). Particle size can vary from few microns to few millimeters.

Application potential

Bio-aerogels can be used as classical aerogels: for thermal insulation, in separation, adsorption and absorption and in catalysis. A strong advantage is that bio-aerogels can also be used in food and feed, in cosmetics and bio-medical and pharma applications as scaffolds, matrices for drug delivery, etc.

Download the fact sheet here:
NANOHYBRIDS-Bio-based Aerogels Fact Sheet

Synthetic Aerogels – Tailored solutions for high-end applications – Fact Sheet Wed, 17 Apr 2019 07:00:45 +0000 ]]> One strand of NanoHybrids focused on synthetic aerogels and aimed at

  • optimizing existing polyurethane (PUR) aerogels;
  • explore the mechanical strength of synthetic polymer aerogels based on polyurea (PUA) and polyamide (PA) for ambient or sub-critical drying; and
  • exploring new types of super-strong gels and aerogels from ring opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) of dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) and norbornene (NBE) derivatives

to enhance the availability of tailored solutions for high-end applications. Two of the materials are presented here

Polyurea aerogel beads

Uniform, mm-sized spherical polyurea aerogel beads available for the first time
– Room temperature process
– Scale-up possible via the dripping method
– Controlled polydispersity possible
– Properties determined by the nanostructure

Properties and advantages

2-4 mm in diameter, narrow size distributions (full width – at half maximum: 0.3-0.4 mm)
– Low density (0.16 g/cc)
– High porosity (>87% v/v)
– High surface area (200 m2/g)

Application potential

Thermal insulation
Gas adsorption
Environmental remediation
Precursors for carbon aerogels

Hybrid polyurea/alginate aerogel beads

Uniform, mm-sized spherical hybrid polyurea/alginate aerogel beads available for the first time
– Scale-up possible via Jet-Cutting
– High doping with a wide variety of metal ions
– Pyrolytic conversion to metal-doped carbon aerogels

Properties and advantages

Hydrophobic hybrid polyurea/alginate aerogels from hydrophilic native materials
Mechanical properties greatly enhanced:
– Young‘s modulus increases more than 16 times
– Hybrid monolithic polyurea/alginate aerogels tolerate stresses >600 MPa and strains >90%

Application potential

Thermal insulation
Gas adsorption
Drug delivery
Heterogeneous catalysis

Download the fact sheet here
NANOHY-Synthetic_Aerogels_Fact Sheet

Student opportunities at 20th International Sol-Gel Conference on August 25-30, 2019 in St. Petersburg Tue, 16 Apr 2019 07:00:29 +0000 ]]>

XX International Sol-Gel Conference (Copyright: ITMO University)

The 20th International Sol-Gel Conference will be held on August 25-30, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Russia. A conference is organized in partnership with the International Sol-Gel Society (ISGS) and hosted by ITMO University, St. Petersburg, Russia. The milestone 20th edition of the conference will manifest the new generation of the Sol-Gel Conference.

The conference will be based on plenary lectures, invited lectures, posters, and short competitive PhD 5 minutes presentations. Beyond it, the conference will offer hands-on workshops and first-ever Science Communication workshops.

The 20th Sol-Gel Conference supports a new generation of scientists who want to excel. The competition for the best 50 MSc and PhD students offers free access to the 20th Sol-Gel conference, workshops, and dorm accommodation.

Sol-Gel Science Slam and other unconventional formats of science interaction!

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 30 April 2019