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Correction published on 9 August 2016, see Gels 2016, 2(3), 21.

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Gels 2015, 1(2), 291-313; doi:10.3390/gels1020291

On the Road to Biopolymer Aerogels—Dealing with the Solvent

Institute of Thermal Separation Processes, Hamburg University of Technology, Eißendorfer Straße 38, 21073 Hamburg, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francoise Quignard
Received: 25 October 2015 / Revised: 8 December 2015 / Accepted: 8 December 2015 / Published: 21 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aerogels)
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Abstract

Aerogels are three-dimensional ultra-light porous structures whose characteristics make them exciting candidates for research, development and commercialization leading to a broad scope of applications ranging from insulation and catalysis to regenerative medicine and pharmaceuticals. Biopolymers have recently entered the aerogel foray. In order to fully realize their potential, progressive strategies dealing with production times and costs reduction must be put in place to facilitate the scale up of aerogel production from lab to commercial scale. The necessity of studying solvent/matrix interactions during solvent exchange and supercritical CO2 drying is presented in this study using calcium alginate as a model system. Four frameworks, namely (a) solvent selection methodology based on solvent/polymer interaction; (b) concentration gradient influence during solvent exchange; (c) solvent exchange kinetics based on pseudo second order model; and (d) minimum solvent concentration requirements for supercritical CO2 drying, are suggested that could help assess the role of the solvent in biopolymer aerogel production. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogel; aerogel; alginate; biopolymers; solvent exchange; pseudo second order kinetics; solubility parameters; shrinkage; supercritical drying hydrogel; aerogel; alginate; biopolymers; solvent exchange; pseudo second order kinetics; solubility parameters; shrinkage; supercritical drying
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Subrahmanyam, R.; Gurikov, P.; Dieringer, P.; Sun, M.; Smirnova, I. On the Road to Biopolymer Aerogels—Dealing with the Solvent. Gels 2015, 1, 291-313.

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