Using Bacteria In Creating UltraLight, Low-Cost, Fire-Resistant & Flexible Carbon Nanofiber Aerogels

Using Bacteria In Creating UltraLight, Low-Cost, Fire-Resistant & Flexible Carbon Nanofiber Aerogels

By Shinji Tutoru

UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF CHINA, HEFEI, ANHUI, CHINA. The development of aerogels that are made from bacterial cellulose that use a low-cost biomass is a great innovation. The development of an environment friendly method of making carbon nanotube aerogels has numerous applications in various fields such as optics, architecture, nanotechnology, material science and electronics.

The researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China’s Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences utilized bacterial cellulose that has a low-cost biomass. It can be industrially produced in a microbial fermentation process that will fabricate the aerogels. The final product is a material that is composed of interlinked 3D networks of cellulose nanofibers. The material has exemplary strength, heat conduction efficiency and outstanding electrical properties.

To convert the bacterial cellulose into graphitic carbon, they small pieces of cellulose were trimmed and freeze-dried. Then they were pyrolyzed at 1300 degrees Celsius under argon. The entire process resulted to an ultralight nanofibrous carbon aerogel with remarkable compression qualities. This trait alone is hard to achieve since common aerogels are very fragile.

The key attributes of these carbon nanofibers in aerogel form are the following: excellent mechanical properties, high surface reactivity and extremely high porosity. Industries will greatly benefit from this material when applied in absorbents for oil-spill cleanup or for 3D composite. They can be used as very efficient catalyst support, electrodes for lithium-ion batteries, conductive gels and super capacitors.

Invention Nanofiber Aerogels
Organization Univeristy of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, China
Researcher Prof. Dr. Shu-Hong Yu & Team
Field(s) Green Technology, Nanotechnology, Sustainable Materials, Material Science, Electronics, Optics, Architecture
Further Information Inhabitat

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