What are Aerogels?

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What are Aerogels? Blog Image


Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and Tel Aviv University have developed an aerogel adsorbent that can remove trace pollutants from wastewater.

About Aerogels

  • Aerogels comprise mostly of air and can be used to remove contaminants. 
  • They are also known as ‘solid air’ or ‘frozen smoke’ are excellent adsorbents (a solid substance used to remove contaminants) and are incredibly lightweight solids composed mostly of air.
  • In addition, they offer advantages like adjustable surface chemistry, low density, and a highly porous structure. 
  • Newly developed aerogel adsorbent
  • The research team developed a silica aerogel modified with graphene.
  • They employed a method called 'supercritical fluid deposition' to prepare these modified aerogels and studied their effectiveness.
  • The Graphene-doped modified silica aerogels (GO-SA) were found to exhibit efficiency in purifying water, attracting and removing contaminants due to graphene's unique molecular structure.
  • Under real-life conditions mimicked in their experiments, the material removed over 85% of pollutants in controlled settings and more than 76% in continuous flow conditions.

Q1) What is Graphene?

Graphene is a remarkable two-dimensional material composed of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, similar to the structure of graphite. It is the basic building block of other carbon allotropes, such as graphite, carbon nanotubes, and fullerenes.

Source: IIT Madras, Tel Aviv varsity researchers develop aerogels to remove trace pollutants from wastewater