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Bio-based aerogels: a new generation of thermal super-insulating materials

Abstract : Aerogels are highly porous, ultra-light (density around 0.1 g/cm3) nanostructured materials. One of their most extraordinary properties is thermal super-insulation, i.e. thermal conductivity below that of the air: 0.015 vs 0.025 W/(m.K) in room conditions. However, classical silica aerogels are extremely fragile and organic/synthetic (resorcinol-formaldehyde) aerogels may include toxic components, which hinders their wide application. Bio-aerogels are a new generation of aerogels made from biomass-based polymers, mainly polysaccharides. We prepared aerogels from cellulose (“aerocellulose” /1, 2/) and pectin (“aeropectin” /3/) via polymer dissolution, coagulation and drying with super-critical CO2. Their density varies from 0.05 to 0.2 g/cm3 and specific surface area is around 200-300 m2/g. Bio-aerogels are mechanically strong, with Young’s moduli from 1-2 to 20-30 MPa and plastic deformation up to 60-70% strain before the pore walls collapse. Aeropectin thermal conductivity turned to be around 0.015 – 0.020 W/(m.K) making it the first reported thermal super-insulating fully biomass-based aerogel. The thermal conductivity of aerocellulose is rather “high”, around 0.030-0.035 W/(m.K), due to the presence of large macropores. We demonstrate that by using polysaccharide functionalization and making polymer-silica aerogel hybrids it is possible to vary specific surface area (increase to 800-900 m2/g) and decrease aerogel thermal conductivity below that of the air.
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Contributor : Magalie Prudon <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - 10:10:09 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 24, 2020 - 5:22:55 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01144591, version 1


Cyrielle Rudaz, Arnaud Demilecamps, Georg Pour, Margot Alves, Arnaud Rigacci, et al.. Bio-based aerogels: a new generation of thermal super-insulating materials. EMN (Energy, Materials, Nanotechnology) Meeting on Polymer, Jan 2015, Orlando, United States. ⟨hal-01144591⟩



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