Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Making frozen smoke: Commercializing aerogel fabrication process

Date:
February 3, 2014
Source:
Union College
Summary:
One day, "frozen smoke" could improve some of our favorite machines, including cars. "When you hold aerogel it feels like nothing -- like frozen smoke. It's about 95 to 97 percent air," said a mechanical engineering.

Aerogel samples.
Credit: Image courtesy of Union College

One day, Union College's Aerogel Team's novel way of making "frozen smoke" could improve some of our favorite machines, including cars.

"When you hold aerogel it feels like nothing -- like frozen smoke. It's about 95 to 97 percent air," said Ann Anderson, professor of mechanical engineering. "Nano-porous, solid and very low density, aerogel is made by removing solvents from a wet-gel. It's used for many purposes, like thermal insulation (on the Mars Rover), in windows or in extreme-weather clothing and sensors."

Together with Brad Bruno, associate professor of mechanical engineering, Mary Carroll, professor of chemistry and others, Anderson is studying the feasibility of commercializing their aerogel fabrication process. A time and money-saver, it could appeal to industries already using aerogel made in other ways.

During rapid supercritical extraction (RSCE), chemicals gel together (like Jell-O) in a hot press; the resulting wet-gel is dried by removing solvents (the wet part). The remaining aerogel (dried gel), is created in hours, rather than the days or weeks alternative methods take.

RSCE, Anderson said, is also approximately seven times cheaper, requiring one hour of labor for every 8 hours the other methods need.

A good place for such a process, and Union aerogel, is the automotive industry.

"Our 3-way catalytic aerogels promote chemical reactions that convert the three major pollutants in automotive exhaust -- unburned hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide -- into less harmful water, nitrogen and carbon dioxide," Anderson said. "Because aerogels have very high surface areas and good thermal properties, we think they could replace precious metals, like platinum, used in current catalytic converters."

Indeed, the surface area of one 0.5-gram bit of aerogel equals 250 square meters.

"That's a lot of surface area for gases to come in contact with, facilitating very efficient pollution mitigation," Anderson said.

The team's work has received support from the National Science Foundation, the ACS Petroleum Research Fund and the Union College Faculty Research Fund.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Union College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Union College. "Making frozen smoke: Commercializing aerogel fabrication process." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140203083635.htm>.
Union College. (2014, February 3). Making frozen smoke: Commercializing aerogel fabrication process. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140203083635.htm
Union College. "Making frozen smoke: Commercializing aerogel fabrication process." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140203083635.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) MIT developed a robot modeled after a cheetah. It can run up to speeds of 10 mph, though researchers estimate it will eventually reach 30 mph. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins