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Issue 18, 2014
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Facile preparation of monolithic κ-carrageenan aerogels

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To the best of our knowledge, it is the first study reporting the synthesis of monolithic κ-carrageenan aerogels with meso- and macroporous structures, being unique in physical and chemical properties. We demonstrate a novel method to synthesize κ-carrageenan aerogels in which potassium thiocyanate was used as the source of specific ions. Aerogels were characterized by envelope density analysis, scanning electron microscopy, nitrogen adsorption–desorption analysis, X-ray powder diffractometry and IR spectroscopy. By varying the concentration of κ-carrageenan between 0.5 and 3 wt%, the envelope density can be linearly increased from 40 to 160 kg m−3. The sulphate functional groups in the wet gel and the specific ions are the key factors controlling the volume shrinkage of aerogels which average about 66%. The aerogels exhibit a fibrillar structure similar to cellulose aerogels. The fibril thickness was observed to be 10–15 nm and the specific surface area was about 230 m2 g−1. The existing meso- and macroporous structures were confirmed by nitrogen adsorption–desorption isotherm analysis and scanning electron microscopy. The aerogels were completely pure, free of specific ions and confirmed to be amorphous by powder X-ray diffraction. Hence, these porous materials can provide a matrix with a chelating function which can be used as a host in many applications.

Graphical abstract: Facile preparation of monolithic κ-carrageenan aerogels

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Nov 2013, accepted on 24 Jan 2014 and first published on 10 Mar 2014

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52862F
Soft Matter, 2014,10, 3218-3224

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    Facile preparation of monolithic κ-carrageenan aerogels

    K. Ganesan and L. Ratke, Soft Matter, 2014, 10, 3218
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM52862F

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