April 21, 2022
Sol-gel derived silica: A review of polymer-tailored properties for energy and environmental applications
AbstractWith the continuous growth in global population, energy demands are summoning the development of novel materials with high specific surface areas (SSA) for energy and environmental applications. High-SSA silica-based materials, such as aerogels, are highly popular as they are easy to form and tune. They also provide thermal stability and easy functionalization, which leads to their application in batteries, heavy metal adsorption, and gas capture. However, owing to large pore volumes, high-SSA silica exhibits weak mechanical behavior, requiring enhancement or modification to improve the mechanical properties and make them viable for these applications. The creation of macropores in these mesoporous solids is also desirable for applications utilizing membranes. To facilitate research in these critical areas, this review describes the research into sol-gel formation of silica, as well as polymer-based tailoring carried out in the last decade. Additionally, this review summarizes applications of polymer-tailored high-SSA silica materials in the energy and environmental fields and discusses the challenges associated with implementing and scaling of these materials for these applications.
Published: April 21, 2022