Application of Hydrophobic Silica/Fiber Composite Aerogels in Organic Absorption
SiO2 aerogels, the lightest solid material have attracted much attention recently. However, it is difficult to be used in practical applications due to its fragility. A facile one step polymerincorporation sol-gel process, together with a surface modification and a normal temperature drying process, was developed to prepare silica-fiber composite aerogels. Four fibers (polyester fiber, polypropylene fiber, lignin fiber, polycrylonitrile fiber) were selected to enhance the intensity of silica aerogels, respectively. The obtained samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) specific surface area. Results showed that samples have a plenty of hydrophobic methyl group attached to their surface. The continuous network structure composed of silica aerogels of high purity are non-crystallized, porous, surface areas from 800 to 980 m2/g and light weight nano-materials. Adsorption experiment of the above samples over organic solution (benzene, toluene) was tested. The composite aerogels absorbed the organic liquids by nearly 6-8 times its own mass, showing potential application in organic absorption.
Yi Tan and Dongying Ju
W. Wei et al., "Application of Hydrophobic Silica/Fiber Composite Aerogels in Organic Absorption", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 675-677, pp. 1035-1039, 2011