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Materials Science at Oregon State University

Porous Ceramics

Date: Thursday, Feb 21st
Presenter: Dr. Linnea Andersson, School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering, Oregon State University


Macroporous ceramic materials have found widespread technological application ranging from particulate filters in diesel engines, tissue engineering scaffolds, and as support materials in carbon capture processes. This talk demonstrates how the pore space of macroporous alumina can be manipulated, analyzed in three dimensions (3D) using visualization techniques, and functionalized with a CO2-adsorbing material.

The macroporous alumina was produced by a novel templating method: by combining thermally expandable polymeric microspheres and gel-casting of an alumina suspension. This production method allowed regulating the permeability to fluid flow by controlling the connectivity of the pore space and the size of the smallest constrictions between the pores. Characterisation with x-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) resulted in 3D data-sets which were used to calculate the throat and pore size distributions and to calculate the permeability to fluid flow. The throat and pore size distributions were also able to be accurately quantified in only one extrusion and intrusion cycle with water-based porosimetry; a relatively novel and simple characterisation technique.

The macro-porous alumina materials were functionalized by coating the pore walls with zeolite films by a colloidal processing technique. The CO2-uptake of the coated alumina materials and of hierarchically porous monoliths of zeolites was evaluated and compared.