Special Issue "Current Research and Technological Advances on Aerogels"

A special issue of Gels (ISSN 2310-2861). This special issue belongs to the section "Gel Chemistry and Physics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2022) | Viewed by 3136

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Miguel Sanchez-Soto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre Catalá del Plástic, Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya, Barcelona Tech, C/Colom 114, 08222 Terrassa, Spain
Interests: polymer-based and composite aerogels; bio-based materials; recycling and recovery; flame retardancy; mechanical properties; fracture behaviour
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Carlos A. García-González
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacology, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology, University of Santiago de Compostela, 15782 - Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Interests: aerogels; supercritical fluids; regenerative medicine; pharmaceutical technology; 3D-bioprinting; porous materials; scaffolds; biomedical applications
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Luísa Durães
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering, Chemical Process Engineering and Forest Products Research Centre, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: aerogels; nanoparticles; soft-solution synthesis; environmental remediation; thermal insulation materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Tobias Abt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre Català Del Plàstic, Universidad Politécnica de Catalunya Barcelona Tech (UPC-EEBE), C/Colom 114, 08222 Terrassa, Spain
Interests: aerogels; biopolymers; recycling; reactive extrusion; 3D printing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Aerogels are nowadays considered one of the most promising classes of materials due to the combination of ultra-low weight and their outstanding properties. They are used in a wide range of technological fields, such as construction, aerospace, and biomedical or environmental applications to name a few. This versatility has encouraged the interest of both academia and industry towards the research and the development of new types of aerogels. In order to contribute to the advance on the state-of-the-art on the topic, a Special Issue has been launched.

This Special Issue aims to contribute to the knowledge on aerogels research by building a comprehensive collection of works dealing with recent developments in this field, covering (but not limited to) the synthesis, manufacturing, structure, characterization and applications of different aerogel types (inorganic, organic, hybrid). It is our pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript for this Special Issue. Full papers, communications, and reviews are all welcome.

This Special Issue is an initiative of the AERoGELS (CA18125 - Advanced Engineering and Research of aeroGels for Environment and Life Sciences) Action (https://cost-aerogels.eu) by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) that aims to boost the development of aerogels for biomedical and environmental applications by setting up a multidisciplinary knowledge-based network from technological, scientific and market points of view.

Dr. Miguel Sanchez-Soto
Dr. Carlos A. García-González
Prof. Dr. Luísa Durães
Dr. Tobias Abt
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Gels is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Aerogels
  • Nanostructured materials
  • Supercritical drying
  • Biomaterials
  • Sustainability

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Graphene Oxide/Polyethylenimine Aerogels for the Removal of Hg(II) from Water
Gels 2022, 8(7), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070452 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 666
Abstract
This article reports the synthesis of an aerogel involving reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and polyethylenimine (PEI), and describes its potential application as an effective sorbent to treat Hg(II) contaminated water. The rGO/PEI sorbent was synthetized using a supercritical CO2 method. N2 [...] Read more.
This article reports the synthesis of an aerogel involving reduced graphene oxide (rGO) and polyethylenimine (PEI), and describes its potential application as an effective sorbent to treat Hg(II) contaminated water. The rGO/PEI sorbent was synthetized using a supercritical CO2 method. N2 physisorption, electron microscopy, and elemental mapping were applied to visualize the meso/macroporous morphology formed by the supercritical drying. The advantages of the synthetized materials are highlighted with respect to the larger exposed GO surface for the PEI grafting of aerogels vs. cryogels, homogeneous distribution of the nitrogenated amino groups in the former and, finally, high Hg(II) sorption capacities. Sorption tests were performed starting from water solutions involving traces of Hg(II). Even though, the designed sorbent was able to eliminate almost all of the metal from the water phase, attaining in very short periods of time residual Hg(II) values as low as 3.5 µg L−1, which is close to the legal limits of drinking water of 1–2 µg L−1. rGO/PEI exhibited a remarkably high value for the maximum sorption capacity of Hg(II), in the order of 219 mg g−1. All of these factors indicate that the designed rGO/PEI aerogel can be considered as a promising candidate to treat Hg(II) contaminated wastewater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research and Technological Advances on Aerogels)
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Article
Ice-Template Crosslinked PVA Aerogels Modified with Tannic Acid and Sodium Alginate
Gels 2022, 8(7), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070419 - 05 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 978
Abstract
With the commitment to reducing environmental impact, bio-based and biodegradable aerogels may be one approach when looking for greener solutions with similar attributes to current foam-like materials. This study aimed to enhance the mechanical, thermal, and flame-retardant behavior of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) aerogels [...] Read more.
With the commitment to reducing environmental impact, bio-based and biodegradable aerogels may be one approach when looking for greener solutions with similar attributes to current foam-like materials. This study aimed to enhance the mechanical, thermal, and flame-retardant behavior of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) aerogels by adding sodium alginate (SA) and tannic acid (TA). Aerogels were obtained by freeze-drying and post-ion crosslinking through calcium chloride (CaCl2) and boric acid (H3BO3) solutions. The incorporation of TA and SA enhanced the PVA aerogel’s mechanical properties, as shown by their high compressive specific moduli, reaching up to a six-fold increase after crosslinking and drying. The PVA/TA/SA aerogels presented a thermal conductivity of 0.043 to 0.046 W/m·K, while crosslinked ones showed higher values (0.049 to 0.060 W/m·K). Under TGA pyrolytic conditions, char layer formation reduced the thermal degradation rate of samples. After crosslinking, a seven-fold decrease in the thermal degradation rate was observed, confirming the high thermal stability of the formed foams. Regarding flammability, aerogels were tested through cone calorimetry. PVA/TA/SA aerogels showed a significant drop in the main parameters, such as the heat release rate (HRR) and the fire growth (FIGRA). The ion crosslinking resulted in a further reduction, confirming the improvement in the fire resistance of the modified compositions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research and Technological Advances on Aerogels)
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Article
Silica-Based Aerogel Composites Reinforced with Reticulated Polyurethane Foams: Thermal and Mechanical Properties
Gels 2022, 8(7), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8070392 - 21 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1085
Abstract
In this work, silica aerogel composites reinforced with reticulated polyurethane (PU) foams have been manufactured having densities in the range from 117 to 266 kg/m3 and porosities between 85.7 and 92.3%. Two different drying processes were employed (ambient pressure drying and supercritical [...] Read more.
In this work, silica aerogel composites reinforced with reticulated polyurethane (PU) foams have been manufactured having densities in the range from 117 to 266 kg/m3 and porosities between 85.7 and 92.3%. Two different drying processes were employed (ambient pressure drying and supercritical drying) and a surface modification step was applied to some of the silica formulations. These composites, together with the reference PU foam and the monolithic silica aerogels, were fully characterized in terms of their textural properties, mechanical properties and thermal conductivities. The surface modification with hexamethyldisilazane (HMDZ) proved to improve the cohesion between the reticulated foam and the silica aerogels, giving rise to a continuous network of aerogel reinforced by a polyurethane porous structure. The samples dried under supercritical conditions showed the best interaction between matrixes as well as mechanical and insulating properties. These samples present better mechanical properties than the monolithic aerogels having a higher elastic modulus (from 130 to 450 kPa), a really exceptional flexibility and resilience, and the capacity of being deformed without breaking. Moreover, these silica aerogel-polyurethane foam (Sil-PU) composites showed an excellent insulating capacity, reaching thermal conductivities as low as 14 mW/(m·K). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research and Technological Advances on Aerogels)
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