Aerogel Current Affairs - 2019
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Scientists have developed Aerogel, a transparent heat-resistant super-insulating gel using beer waste. It may be used to build greenhouse-like habitats for human colonised on extraterrestrial habitats such as Mars or Moon. It could also be used on buildings on Earth to help make huge savings on energy costs.
Aerogels defining feature is air, as it comprise at least 90% gas by weight. Their thin films are made up of crisscrossing patterns of solid material that trap air inside billions of tiny pores, similar to bubbles in bubble wrap. This trapping capacity makes them good insulators.
Recently developed transparent heat-resistant super-insulating aerogel using beer waste looks like flattened plastic contact lens film (roughly 100 times lighter than glass). It is transparent compared to similar products in market allowing to see-through it. It is also resistant to heat. It is also cheaper to produce because it comes from beer waste.
Potential Applications: It could also be used on buildings on Earth to help make huge savings on energy costs. It can be also used in windows and also in extraterrestrial habitats. It enables to harvest sunlight through that thermally-insulating material and store energy inside, thus protecting from big oscillations in temperature especially on Mars or on moon.
For the first time, scientists from National University of Singapore (NUS) have successfully converted paper waste into green nontoxic cellulose aerogels.
Aerogels are among the lightest solid materials in the world and are also one of the finest insulation materials available.
Green Aerogels are ultra-light, non-toxic, extremely strong, flexible and water repellent. It is obtained by converting paper waste into biodegradable Aerogels which is a simple, cost-effective and fast method.
- It has low thermal conductivity
- It super high oil absorption capacity i.e. 4 times higher than commercial sorbents.
- Its fabrication process uses 70 per cent less energy and produces fewer polluting emissions into the air and water.
It should be noted that traditional aerogels are mainly made of silica which is not environment-friendly process of manufacturing it.
- It is ideal for applications such as oil spill cleaning.
- It can serve as heat insulation materials for buildings.
- In Biomedical applications, it can be potentially be used as coating materials for drug delivery and as smart materials.
- It can be also used in packaging industry as it is biodegradable and environmentally-friendly material.