BASF participated as Industrial Lead in the international project and, together with other partners under the leadership of Prof. Irina Smirnova from TUHH, worked intensively for three and a half years on particulate aerogel materials, their manufacturing processes and prototypes for industrial application tests. Not only are the project partners highly satisfied with the results, but the experts of the EU Commission are also extremely positive about them.
Until now, organic and bio-based aerogel particles could only be produced in small laboratory quantities. In order to transfer them from research to industrial applications, it was particularly important to further develop the manufacturing processes and thus enable access to relevant quantities and prototypes. After an initial pilot and optimization phase at the TUHH, BASF finally produced alginate-based aerogel particles in larger quantities.
As an overall result, it is now possible to limit and optimize the conditions of production steps of organic aerogel particles for scaling to industrial scale. The first production system for a new generation of nanoporous organic and hybrid aerogels is ready on a pilot scale. In this way, the various conceivable applications can be tested industrially on a larger scale. Thanks to their low thermal conductivity, aerogels are suitable as high-performance insulating materials, for example, and their high absorption capacity predestines them for use as adsorption materials.
On April 11, 2019, the NanoHybrids results were presented at the PARTEC scientific conference. At the parallel trade fair POWTECH, representatives of industry and science had the opportunity to take a look at the aerogels produced at booth 408, hall 3. A total of 12 European partners from universities, research institutions and industry were involved in the project. It is funded by the largest European research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.