AEROGELS 2018 – Cellulose aerogels – shaping and properties for tailored application

Aerogel beads, produced by jet cutting. Picture: T. Goller/DLR

Today, the third day of AEROGELS 2018, sees six lectures presented by partners of the NanoHybrids consortium. Half of these lectures are directly associated to research during NanoHybrids. One lecture highlights the innovation potential which can be achieved by collaborative research and development.Shortly before the final award ceremony, the creative early-stage researchers Lucile Druel (MINES Paris Tech), Amelie Krenkel (MINES Paris Tech), Philipp Niemeyer (DLR) and Victor Baudron (TUHH) together with the advanced researchers Barbara Milow (DLR) and Tatiana Budtova ((MINES Paris Tech) report their results on shaping cellulose aerogels for tailored applications.

Aim of their work was to produce cellulose aerogel beads of different sizes, from few microns to few millimetres, and study their structure and properties. They explored different techniques to accelerate the production process. For many applications beads or particles are more advanatageous than monoliths but their production processes still need research and development. The NanoHybrids consortium aims to deliver these production processes and upscale them to pilot scale.

Bio-aerogels are a new generation of porous materials made from polysaccharides. They show high porosity (> 90 %), high specific surface area (200 – 500 m2.g-1) and low density (around 0.1 All these properties place them as good candidates for multiple applications in diverse fields such as drug delivery systems for medical applications or thermal insulating materials in buildings. Thus far, most of the produced aerogels were shaped in form of monoliths of a few cubic centimetres of volume for easy handling in laboratory preparations. However, several applications have specific requirements in terms of shape and size and aerogels should more often be shaped as beads or particles. In addition, all steps of the process (solvent exchange, drying) are much quicker when samples are of sub-millimetre size.

Techniques explored range from the simple “dropping” technique to the more advanced emulsion method as well as the larger scale Jet-Cutting. The limitations and advantages of each method will be discussed. Cellulose solvent as well as preparation conditions were adapted for each shaping technique. Cellulose beads size varied from few microns to few millimetres and their properties were similar to those of monoliths’: low density (from 0.04 to 0.1 and high specific surface area (up to 450 m2.g-1).

Lucile Druel and Philipp Niemeyer have already been portrayed on Philipp has been the winner of the poster award on the Third International Seminar on Aerogels 2016, Lucile got an award Prix Imagin’Maïs 2016/2017 in the “innovation” category for the work on starch aerogels. Look forward to the portrait of Victor on this page …

To complete lectures on behalf of NanoHybrids on Wednesday see also:
Lecture of Innventia team
Lecture of Koc University team



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