Chinese scientists have developed a surface nanocrystallization method to create all-natural wood-inspired aerogel with better thermal insulation and fire retardancy.
Wood has a variety of outstanding properties due to its oriented pore structure, among which the low thermal conductivity has attracted researchers to develop wood-like aerogels as thermal insulation materials.
This material can withstand a high-temperature flame of 1,300 degrees Celsius and not be burned for at least 20 minutes, according to the research team led by Yu Shuhong from the University of Science and Technology of China.
The researchers used the method of surface nanocrystallization with natural biomass and minerals as ingredients to make the surface-inert and weakly interacting wood particles better assemble to construct the aerogel.
The obtained wood-inspired aerogel has a channel structure similar to that of natural wood, enabling it to have better thermal insulation properties compared to most existing commercial sponges.
The low energy consumption and emissions of the preparation process and its natural ingredients make the aerogel more biodegradable, sustainable and environmentally friendly.
The researchers believe it will be an ideal replacement for existing commercial insulation materials.
The research findings were recently published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.