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Abstract: Aerogels are promising thermal insulators because of their low thermal conductivity, durability and eco-friendly nature. However, aerogels become a problem because of their highly flammable properties. In this study, flame retardant cellulose insulators were formed from scrap pieces of cotton. Firstly, an NaOH/Urea solution was combined with the scrap pieces of cotton to create a nanoporous three-dimensional cellulose gel. This gel will ultimately serve as a template for the growth of the magnesium hydroxide nanoparticles (MH NPs). Once the MH NPs had undergone in-situ synthesis within the cellulose nanostructures, the matrix was then freeze-dried. The insulation characteristics of the hybridized cellulose aerogels were preserved, while flame retardant properties, with extinguishment within 40s, were inherited. This process resulted in a low-cost, environmentally friendly, easily sustainable, flame retardant thermal insulator.  

Reference: ACS Sustainable Chemical Engineering, 3:8 (2015) 1853–1859

DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.5b00438