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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592
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A "Smart Sponge" Soaks Up Pollutants

Cellulose nanofibril smart sponge absorbs oil which is floating on the top of water. Bryce Richter, University of Wisconsin
Cellulose nanofibril smart sponge absorbs oil which is floating on the top of water. Bryce Richter, University of Wisconsin
Snapshot: This "smart sponge" is one of a number of applications under development for the tiny wood fibers known as cellulose nanofibrils (CNF). The fibers possess a number of unique properties including renewability, high surface areas, high aspect ratios, and excellent mechanical properties. CNF-based superabsorbent aerogels exhibit ultralow density, high porosity, high specific surface area, high flexibility, and low thermal conductivity.
Summary:

Aerogels have received considerable interest in recent years because they can be used for a broad range of applications, including thermal and acoustic insulation, energy storage, catalyst support, and sensing. Forest Service researchers recently developed a series of cellulose nanofibril (CNF)-based organic aerogels using an environmentally friendly freeze drying process. Preliminary studies fully demonstrate that rationally engineered CNF-based aerogels can be used for a number of applications including as superabsorbents, thermal insulation, polymer nanocomposites, and supercapacitors.
Princpal Investigator(s):
 Cai, Zhiyong


Research Location:
  • Forest Products Laboratory


External Partners:
  • Shaoqin Gong and Qifeng Zheng, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Fiscal Year: 2014
Highlight ID: 579
 
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