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Synthesis of nature-inspired materials using more sustainable approaches

Mesoporous silicas are materials with wide industrial applications, being used in catalysis, separation, drug delivery, sensors and biomedical implants. However, the preparation of these materials using conventional methods still display some disadvantages such as high energy consumption due to thermal treatment steps at high temperatures, and elevated E-factor, a consequence of the use of organic templates and surfactants that are lost in the process.

In the last years, efforts have been dedicated to the search for more sustainable approaches for obtaining these materials. In this context, a group led by Prof. S. V. Patwardhan from England along with researchers from Scotland, published a protocol for the production of nature-inspired mesoporous silicas and the purification of these materials using extraction methods enabled by the adjustment of the pH during their preparation. The developed approach reduces significantly the energy consumption during the process, as well as its carbon emissions.

For more details, see:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cssc.201700027/abstract