Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)–cellulose nanofibril (CNF)–multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) hybrid organic aerogels with superior mechanical properties
Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)–cellulose nanofibril (CNF)–multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) hybrid organic aerogels were prepared using an environmentally friendly freeze-drying process with renewable materials. The material properties of these “green” hybrid aerogels were characterized extensively using various techniques. It was found that adding a small amount of CNFs and MWCNTs increased the mechanical properties of the PVA aerogels drastically. The mechanical properties of the hybrid aerogels showed an exponential dependency on the relative aerogel densities. These low-density hybrid aerogels also exhibited very low thermal conductivities and high surface areas, thereby making them potentially useful for many applications including thermal insulation and structural components.