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Production of polylactic acid aerogels via phase separation and supercritical CO$_{2}$ drying: thermodynamic analysis of the gelation and drying process

Bueno, Alberto; Luebbert, Christian; Enders, Sabine 1; Sadowski, Gabriele; Smirnova, Irina
1 Institut für Technische Thermodynamik und Kältetechnik (TTK), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


The application range of aerogels, especially in the life-science sector, can be extended by utilizing biocompatible polymers such as polylactic acid (PLA). However, the low glass transition temperature (Tg) of PLA and the challenging gelation techniques limit the application of supercritical CO$_{2}$ (scCO$_{2}$) drying and thus the PLA-aerogel production. The aim of this work is to overcome this challenge and to provide a better understanding of the thermodynamics of the process. Therefore, the gelation of amorphous PLA (PDLLA) and semicrystalline PLA (PLLA) via thermal-induced phase separation (TIPS) was studied. To identify polymer/solvent/antisolvent ratios suitable for gelation, thermodynamic modeling (PC-SAFT) was used to describe the corresponding ternary phase diagrams. scCO$_{2}$ drying was used to preserve the mesoporous gel structure formed during the gelation. Due to the decrease in the Tg of PLA in the presence of CO$_{2}$, this could not be applied to all gels. It was found that the critical parameter to enable the scCO$_{2}$ drying of low Tg polymers is the crystallinity degree (Xc) of the polymer. Based on these results, some guidelines for producing aerogels from polymers with low Tg are formulated.

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000137775
Veröffentlicht am 22.09.2021
DOI: 10.1007/s10853-021-06501-0
Zitationen: 2
Web of Science
Zitationen: 2
Zitationen: 4
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Technische Thermodynamik und Kältetechnik (TTK)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 0022-2461, 1573-4803
KITopen-ID: 1000137775
Erschienen in Journal of Materials Science
Verlag Springer
Band 56
Seiten 18926–18945
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 09.09.2021
Nachgewiesen in Dimensions
Web of Science
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