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Title: Membrane synthesis via in-situ pore formation in silica gels through dynamic miscibility with soybean oil

Journal Article · · Colloids and Surfaces. A, Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects

The dynamic immiscibility between vegetable oil and organic silica precursors during sol-gel synthesis was used to tailor the microstructure of gels made with tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) or tetraethoxysilane+methyltrimethoxysilane (MTMS). Vegetable oil was investigated as an environmentally friendly and cheaper alternative to many other porogens. Oil concentrations of 9.09 v/v% and 33.33 v/v% were studied. For both TEOS and TEOS+MTMS gels, the miscibility of the oil and precursor decreases as the silica gel network forms, leading to oil-rich regions within the silica matrix. Gels containing MTMS maintained partial miscibility with the oil during gel formation due to the non-hydrolysable methyl groups on the MTMS. The pore structure of MTMS gels appeared more interconnected compared to the isolated pores observed in gels made with only TEOS. To create membranes with hierarchical pore structures, solvent exchanges were performed on gels or dried gels (i.e., xerogels) were calcined. The effect of the methyl group was also observed in the results of the time sweep rheology, as the addition of oil to the TEOS+MTMS gels caused an increase in the time to form the spanning gel. The trend was the opposite for oil additions to TEOS gels, which only contained polar groups. Xerogel membranes made with TEOS+MTMS had higher specific surface areas (SSAs) than those made with TEOS. For oil concentrations of 33.33 v/v%, xerogels made from TEOS+MTMS had an average SSA of 1068 + 113 m2 g-1, an order of magnitude higher than the average SSA of 103 + 6 m2 g-1 for xerogels made with TEOS.

Research Organization:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Organization:
DOE Contract Number:
Report Number(s):
Journal Information:
Colloids and Surfaces. A, Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, Vol. 636
Country of Publication:
United States

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