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    tSuperhydrophobic and crosslinked poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA)/cellulose nanofibril (CNF) aerogel micro-spheres were prepared via a combination of the water-in-oil (W/O) emulsification process with thefreeze-drying process, followed by thermal chemical vapor deposition of methyltrichlorosilane. The oilphase and the cooling agent were judiciously selected to ensure that the frozen ice microspheres canbe easily separated from the emulsion system. The silanized microspheres were highly porous with abulk density ranging from 4.66 to 16.54 mg/cm3. The effects of the solution pH, stirring rate, and emul-sifier concentration on the morphology and microstructure of the aerogel microspheres were studied.The highly porous structure of the ultralight aerogel microspheres demonstrated an ultrahigh crude oilabsorption capacity (up to 116 times its own weight). This study provides a novel approach for the large-scale preparation of polymeric aerogel microspheres with well-controlled particle sizes that can be usedfor various applications including oil and chemical spill/leak clean-up.

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    Zhai, Tianliang; Zheng, Qifeng; Cai, Zhiyong; Xia, Hesheng; Gong, Shaoqin. 2016. Synthesis of polyvinyl alcohol/cellulose nanofibril hybrid aerogel microspheres and their use as oil/solvent superabsorbents. Carbohydrate Polymers. 148: 300-308.


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    Aerogel microspheres, ellulose nanofibrils (CNFs), emulsification process, freeze-drying, superabsorption

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