Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Making "Frozen Smoke" the Fast Way

04.02.2014
Aerogels could improve some of our favorite machines, such as cars

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


Aerogel samples

“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.

Phillip Wajda | Newswise
Further information:
http://www.union.edu

Further reports about: Aerogel Smoke chemical reaction frozen smoke nitrogen oxide surface area

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht Automated driving: Steering without limits
05.02.2016 | FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

nachricht Pioneering joining technology for high performance hybrid automotive parts
18.12.2015 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Production of an AIDS vaccine in algae

Today, plants and microorganisms are heavily used for the production of medicinal products. The production of biopharmaceuticals in plants, also referred to as “Molecular Pharming”, represents a continuously growing field of plant biotechnology. Preferred host organisms include yeast and crop plants, such as maize and potato – plants with high demands. With the help of a special algal strain, the research team of Prof. Ralph Bock at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam strives to develop a more efficient and resource-saving system for the production of medicines and vaccines. They tested its practicality by synthesizing a component of a potential AIDS vaccine.

The use of plants and microorganisms to produce pharmaceuticals is nothing new. In 1982, bacteria were genetically modified to produce human insulin, a drug...

Im Focus: The most accurate optical single-ion clock worldwide

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far. Their optical ytterbium clock achieved a relative systematic measurement uncertainty of 3 E-18. The results have been published in the current issue of the scientific journal "Physical Review Letters".

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock...

Im Focus: Goodbye ground control: autonomous nanosatellites

The University of Würzburg has two new space projects in the pipeline which are concerned with the observation of planets and autonomous fault correction aboard satellites. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy funds the projects with around 1.6 million euros.

Detecting tornadoes that sweep across Mars. Discovering meteors that fall to Earth. Investigating strange lightning that flashes from Earth's atmosphere into...

Im Focus: Flow phenomena on solid surfaces: Physicists highlight key role played by boundary layer velocity

Physicists from Saarland University and the ESPCI in Paris have shown how liquids on solid surfaces can be made to slide over the surface a bit like a bobsleigh on ice. The key is to apply a coating at the boundary between the liquid and the surface that induces the liquid to slip. This results in an increase in the average flow velocity of the liquid and its throughput. This was demonstrated by studying the behaviour of droplets on surfaces with different coatings as they evolved into the equilibrium state. The results could prove useful in optimizing industrial processes, such as the extrusion of plastics.

The study has been published in the respected academic journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).

Im Focus: New study: How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels

A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Travel grants available: Meet the world’s most proficient mathematicians and computer scientists

09.02.2016 | Event News

AKL’16: Experience Laser Technology Live in Europe´s Largest Laser Application Center!

02.02.2016 | Event News

From intelligent knee braces to anti-theft backpacks

26.01.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists take nanoparticle snapshots

11.02.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA sees development of Tropical Storm 11P in Southwestern Pacific

11.02.2016 | Earth Sciences

Scientists from MIPT gain insights into 'forbidden' chemistry

11.02.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>