Silica aerogel upscaling

In 2013, a one-pot production process was patented by Empa. This process minimizes the use of solvent and allows to produce silica aerogel granulate by ambient pressure drying within only 5 hours from start to finish. The production process consists of three steps: gelation, modification and ambient pressure drying. The production process was recently scaled up in a pilot reactor with a batch volume of 70 L. The aerogel granulate produced by this method has a thermal conductivity of 17.9 mW/(m.K), as low as that of commercially available granulate [1]. Importantly, the new production process substantially reduces production cost, processing time and CO2 emissions during production. 
[1] Huber, L. et al. (2017) Fast and Minimal-Solvent Production of Superinsulating Silica Aerogel Granulate. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 57, 4753-4756.