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Open AccessArticle

Silica Aerogel Monoliths Derived from Silica Hydrosol with Various Surfactants

School of Physics Science and Engineering & Shanghai Key Laboratory of Special Artificial Microstructure Materials and Technology, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
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Academic Editor: Carlos A. García-González
Molecules 2018, 23(12), 3192; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23123192
Received: 22 October 2018 / Revised: 30 November 2018 / Accepted: 30 November 2018 / Published: 4 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineering of Aerogels and Their Applications)
Owing to their ultra-low thermal conductivity, silica aerogels are promising thermal insulators; however, their extensive application is limited by their high production cost. Thus, scientists have started to explore low-cost and easy preparation processes of silica aerogels. In this work, a low-cost method was proposed to prepare silica aerogels with industrial silica hydrosol and a subsequent ambient pressure drying (APD) process. Various surfactants (cationic, amphoteric, or anionic) were added to avoid solvent exchange and surface modification during the APD process. The effects of various surfactants on the microstructure, thermal conductivity, and thermal stability of the silica aerogels were studied. The results showed that the silica aerogels prepared with a cationic or anionic surfactant have better thermal stability than that prepared with an amphoteric surfactant. After being heated at 600 °C, the silica aerogel prepared with a cationic surfactant showed the highest specific surface area of 131 m2∙g−1 and the lowest thermal conductivity of 0.038 W∙m−1∙K−1. The obtained low-cost silica aerogel with low thermal conductivity could be widely applied as a thermal insulator for building and industrial energy-saving applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: silica hydrosol; aerogel; ambient pressure drying; surfactant silica hydrosol; aerogel; ambient pressure drying; surfactant
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, D.; Wang, X.; Ding, W.; Zou, W.; Zhu, Q.; Shen, J. Silica Aerogel Monoliths Derived from Silica Hydrosol with Various Surfactants. Molecules 2018, 23, 3192.

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