Development of sustainable biomimetic syntheses of spherical silica particles

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Curley, Ricky
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University College Cork
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The work in this thesis concerns the development of processes to produce monodisperse and spherical silica particles using more sustainable and environmentally benign means. Spherical silica is widely used and is integral to many advanced applications. A major problem, however, is that current silica production methods are inherently unsustainable. Contemporary silica production can be rendered more sustainable by optimising for efficiency, an approach used in Chapter 2, when analysing a process used by Glantreo Ltd. However, optimisation of such processes eventually leads to stalemate, in which no further increase in sustainability is possible. This is due to the fundamentally unsustainable nature of the reagents used in such processes – petrochemical surfactants, organic solvents, and certain alcohols. Therefore, to create spherical silica in a sustainable and environmentally benign way, the work in this thesis lays out possible development routes for spherical silica manufacturing research into biomimetic processes which use biopolymers, mild conditions, and water-based chemistries to synthesise silica particles.
Stöber process , Biomineralisation , Biopolymers , Biomimetic , Spherical silica
Curley, R. A. 2020. Development of sustainable biomimetic syntheses of spherical silica particles. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.