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Properties

Extremely low density (Range from 0.0011 0.5gcm-3). Extremely high thermal insulation. Highest surface area per volume of any (non-powered) solid. Due to Carbon Aerogels high surface area it is a great electrical conductor Lowest refractive index.

CARBON AEROGEL
By: Cadence Baker

Figure 3 (AIP, 2007). The black block is Carbon Aerogel.

Appendix
[AG] 2010. What is Organic Aerogel? Carbon Aerogel. Retrieved from: http://www.aerogel.org/?p=71 [RP]1997. Carbon Aerogel Powder. Retrieved from: http://www.reade.com/Products/Carbo ns/carbon_aerogel.html [LL] 2000. A Predictable Structure for Aerogels. Retrieved from: https://www.llnl.gov/str/Foxhighlight.h tml [AIP] 2007. Eric Lerner. Less is More with Aerogels. Retrieved from: http://www.aip.org/tip/INPHFA/vol10/iss-5/p26.html

Black in appearance due to


internal absorption and scattering of light.

(AG, 2010)

Figure 1 (LL, 2000)

What is Carbon Aerogel?


In general, Aerogels are the worlds lightest solid, and are comprised of about 99% air. Carbon Aerogel is an organic aerogel comprised of carbon. The electron configuration of carbon is 1s2 2s2 2 p2. This is a compound comprised of organic polymers. Carbon aerogel is seen as a totally black, opaque solid, and is also one of the least dense solids ever created (AG, 2010). Carbon Aerogel is made by heating a polymer aerogel to several hundred degrees Celsius in an oven or furnace. During this process, an inert gas such as nitrogen or argon is flowing through the enclosed area. The polymer is then dehydrated and an aerogel made from carbon has been created (AG, 2010). This process is modeled in the image below.

Applications of Carbon Aerogel


Due to the physical and chemical properties of Carbon Aerogel, there are many applications for this organic compound. Some of the uses include: catching stardust, insulating houses, soundproofing houses, air and water purification systems and it is used to collect solar energy (AIP, 2007). Catching stardust is the first recorded use of Carbon Aerogel. In the early 1990s NASA first used Carbon Aerogel to catch interstellar dust particles. These dust particles easily pass through a gas, but vaporize when contacted with a liquid or an ordinary solid. Since aerogels are much stronger than air, but significantly less dense than a typical solid, they are able to capture interstellar particles (AIP, 2007). Carbon Aerogels can be used as a battery that charges very quickly. This is very effective in situations such as collecting solar energy. Since carbon aerogel can collect the energy at a highly efficient rate, they are very useful with todays the next decade, the cost of Carbon Aerogel is expected to reduce significantly. This will make it more available to the general public as an insulation option. This insulation option definitely

has a positive effect on the environment. Since it is


highly capable of maintaining a consistent temperature, less heat transfer will occur, resulting in decreased fuel usage in houses. Not only will this help to preserve natural oil, but also it will help families and businesses in society live an

economically friendly lifestyle (RP, 1997).

The molecular diagram of Carbon Aerogel is shown in

Since Carbon Aerogel has the property of being a


good insulator, it is beginning to be used for housing and office insulation, and soundproofing. Its ability to insulate and sound proof effectively is a result of its large internal surface area. This product is highly expensive, which limits the amount of buildings that use it as insulation, but in

goal of preserving the earth. Since Carbon Aerogel can be used as an alternative form of electricity, the natural oils can be preserved and kept for longer periods of time (AG, 2010).

Figure 2 (AG, 2010)