Mass transport Bio-Aerogel


(Project title)

Stofftransportprozesse bei der Herstellung von biopolymerbasierten Aerogelen: in situ Charakterisierung und Modellierung

Mass transport phenomena relevant for the generation of biopolymer based Aerogels: in situ characterization and modelling

Fördermittelgeber (Funding Agency)

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
German Research Foundation

Förderzeitraum (Project Duration)

End of 2022




Aerogels based on bio-polymers and especially those which are based on naturally available proteins are a new class of highly porous material. Their enormous potential for the food- or pharma-sectors as low-calorie ingredients, encapsulation materials for sensitive or sensory-distracting compounds, selective adsorbers or simply as packaging material, are based on their biocompatibility and porosity.

The (i) solvent exchange and the subsequent (ii) drying process in compressed carbon dioxide (CO2) are the two crucial process steps during the generation of bio-polymer-based aerogels. The kinetics of both process steps in combination with the thermodynamics relevant for the gel’s interior, determine the costs as well as the quality of the product.

Within this project, concentration profiles are determined in the gels’ interior and outside the gels during the solvent exchange and drying processes using optical measurement techniques. Internal and external mass transfer resistances are derived from the concentration profiles (applicant Braeuer, FAU Erlangen). The found resistances are correlated with the properties of the obtained gels and the flow conditions around the gels and are reflected in mass transfer models for porous material (applicant Gurikov, TU Hamburg-Harburg). Based on these models the solvent exchange as well as the drying process can be optimized with respect to the costs and quality of the product.



(contact Principal Investigator)

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Andreas Bräuer