Aerogel is not a new material. It was created back in the 1930’s. But up until now, few use it. That is remarkable considering how potentially useful it could be. As you can see in this video, it is an incredible insulator.
The most obvious use is for keeping people warm outdoors in the winter. Several companies have tried to sell this application, without a lot of success so far. This year a company by the name of Lukla will try again. It will be fun to see if Lukla takes off.
But at least some forecast that new products using aerogel are likely to emerge. A key to making aerogel more populat is to lower the cost of production. Will that happen? Consider this from Geentech efficiency
Svenska Aerogel (SA), one of the numerous companies in Sweden trying to break out of an incubator, has devised a process that can convert silica into aerogels at ambient temperatures at low pressures in a continuous (instead of a batch) fashion, according to CEO Anders Lundstrom.
“We’re talking a price reduction of about 90 percent,” he said.
IMpressive. But this is not the only path researchers are taking. In China, they are attempting to make less expensive graphene aerogel. Pretty wild stuff.