Bio-aerogels are one of the classes of aerogel materials that exhibit open porous nanofibrillar network. They can be produced by Sol-Gel synthesis. In this process, the Bio-polymers are dissolved in a solvent followed by self-assemblies/aggregations of polymer chains into entangled/cross-linked nano-network. Alginate, Cellulose, Chitosan and their composite derivatives can be prepared on a larger scale in particles form either by emulsion or Jet-Cutter techniques. In order to produce open porous aerogels, the wet gels has to undergo an exchange of pore liquid (if necessary) and subsequently supercritical drying with carbon dioxide.
Bio-aerogels possess amazing properties such as high porosities (>90 %), very low density, high specific surface area (200-500 m2/g).
Porous properties, high specific surface area and chemical functionalities of Bio-aerogels enable thier use as carrier materials for different applications. Since Bio-aerogel particles are produced from renewable resources, they can be utilized in applications such as sadvanced food materials or as carriers for drug delivery. Further, applications such as separation techniques, thermal insulations and supporting materials in catalysis are under development.