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Lightweight, Anisotropic, Compressible, and Thermally-Insulating Wood Aerogels with Aligned Cellulose Fibers

by Hao Sun 1, Hongjie Bi 1, Xin Lin 1, Liping Cai 2,3 and Min Xu 1,*
1
Key Laboratory of Bio-Based Material Science and Technology (Ministry of education), College of Material Science and Engineering, Northeast Forestry University, Hexing Road 26, Harbin 150040, China
2
Mechanical and Energy Engineer Department, University of North Texas, Demon, TX 76201, USA
3
College of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12010165 (registering DOI)
Received: 23 November 2019 / Revised: 29 December 2019 / Accepted: 6 January 2020 / Published: 8 January 2020
The growing demand for lightweight, renewable, and excellent thermal insulation materials has fueled a search for high performance biomass materials with good mechanical compressibility and ultralow thermal conductivity. We propose a fabrication method for making a lightweight, anisotropic, and compressible wood aerogel with aligned cellulose fibers by a simple chemical treatment. The wood aerogel was mainly composed of highly aligned cellulose fibers with a relative crystallinity of 77.1%. The aerogel exhibits a low density of 32.18 mg/cm3 and a high specific surface area of 31.68 m2/g due to the removal of lignin and hemicellulose from the wood. Moreover, the multilayer structure of the aerogel was formed under the restriction of wood rays. Combined with a nanoscale pore, the aerogel presents good compressibility and an ultralow thermal conductivity of 0.033 W/mK. These results show that the wood aerogel is a high quality biomass material with a potential function of thermal insulation through optimizing structures. View Full-Text
Keywords: wood aerogel; cellulose; multilayer structure; compressible; thermal insulation wood aerogel; cellulose; multilayer structure; compressible; thermal insulation
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Sun, H.; Bi, H.; Lin, X.; Cai, L.; Xu, M. Lightweight, Anisotropic, Compressible, and Thermally-Insulating Wood Aerogels with Aligned Cellulose Fibers. Polymers 2020, 12, 165.

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