Summary of the technology
Method for preparing hybrid materials based on biopolymer and silica, in the form of spherical particles with uniform size and smaller than 1 micrometer (µm), for several applications in environmental and industrial areas.
The demand for biopolymer/silica hybrid materials had a remarkable growth because of the attractive properties of biopolymers such as biocompatibility, biodegradability and low cost. The sol-gel method is a widely used method for preparing hybrid silica-based materials, which is not a trivial task. The available technologies allow the production of biopolymer-based hybrids especially in the form of monoliths and films. The few methods describing the preparation of spherical particles of hybrid materials involve using emulsions and surfactants that need to be eliminated in later production steps.
The developed technology allows preparing biopolymer/silica hybrids in the form of uniform spherical particles with size smaller than 1 µm, whithout using surfactants. The materials have attractive properties, gathering properties of the biopolymer and the silica. Additionally, this method allows to coat nanoparticles of diverse nature with a nanometric thickness shell (<100nm), with hybrid composition comprising a biopolymer covalently bonded to the silica network, without the use of emulsions, imparting new properties to hybrid materials.
SPHERICAL AND UNIFORM SIZE PARTICLES: particles smaller than 1 µm, with a considerable specific superficial area.
WITHOUT SURFACTANTS: avoids toxicity-related issues and additional production steps.
HIGH BIOPOLYMER CONTENT: amount of carbon ≥20%.
VERSATILITY: the method can be expanded to other biopolymers and be used for coating nanoparticles of variable nature with a hybrid shell, thus imparting new functionalities to the hybrids.
These materials have diverse applications:
Water remediation: magnetic of non-magnetic separation of organic compounds and contaminant ions present in water or wastewater.
Hybrid coatings with advanced properties; electronics industry; food packaging (preparation of plastic films with improved properties) or as desiccant.
National patent pending.
TRL 4: The materials were already tested at laboratorial scale for the uptake of organic pollutants from water, namely chemical pigments and pollutant pharmaceutical compounds.
New possible applications are being studied.
Available for presentation.
Researchers of Aveiro Institute of Materials (CICECO) from the University of Aveiro.
Testing of new applications.
Development of new formulations.
The University of Aveiro seeks partners within companies that work on the environmental, pharmaceutical and/or biotechnological areas.
Intellectual property status
Patent already applied for
UATEC - Unidade de Transferência de Tecnologia
Technology Transfer Office
Additional information (attached documents)