Preparation and characterization of rectorite gels.

Zheng, P., Chang, P.R., and Ma, X. (2013). "Preparation and characterization of rectorite gels.", Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 52(14), pp. 5066-5071. doi : 10.1021/ie3027372  Access to full text


The mineral clay rectorite (REC) was used successfully to prepare ultralight gels by the simple process of freezing the aqueous gel precursor, exchanging the solvent (ice–ethanol), and performing ethanol drying rather than employing supercritical drying technology. The light bulk density of the rectorite (REC) gel was only 18.95 mg/cm3. Three-dimensional networks in REC gels were composed of REC sheets. Cationic guar gum could intercalate into the REC layers or attach on the REC surface and consolidate the REC gel networks. This novel porous REC gel material contained many macropores and a few mesopores. The REC gel could adsorb ethanol and soybean oil as much as 5.62 and 15.8 times the weight of the gel, respectively. In addition, the adsorptions of methylene blue dye and stearic acid (phase-change material) could reach 95.24 mg/g and 39.7 g/g, respectively. REC gels thus have potential for applications in wastewater treatment and thermal energy storage.

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