Buildings use around 40% of the total energy consumption and generate 35% of total greenhouse gases. This is mainly linked to poor thermal insulation. Poor thermal insulation is also a problem for appliances and pipelines. To change this dramatic situation, high performance insulation materials are needed. The best commercial materials, such as mineral wool and expanded polystyrene, have conductivity between 0.030 and 0.035 W/(m.K). Apart from vacuum insulation panels, only aerogels are “intrinsically” thermal super-insulating materials at the atmospheric pressure (i.e. with thermal conductivity significantly below that of air, 0.025 W/(m.K)) due to their mesoporosity (pore size from 2 to 50 nm) and low density.
Low carbon footprint and “user-friendliness” are also very important factors to consider in addition to material performance. The goal of this PhD project is to develop bio-based materials, bio-aerogels, with very low thermal conductivity using a combined approach of formulation (chemical physics of polysaccharides) and experimental and modelling of material thermal properties. The work will be based on a recently discovered in CEMEF bio-based aerogels with very promising thermal properties.

Publié le 06/06/2022