100 Nano-Stories: Aspen Aerogels Reflections!

Episode #31: My Takeaways From Geroge Gould & Aerogel Technologies Discussion!

Carlos Manuel Jarquín Sánchez
3 min readFeb 18, 2021

Preface! → ✨

It’s your favorite nanotechnology & material science enthusiast! Today, I met up with the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Aspen Aerogels Inc., where they pioneer enhanced materials with aerogel properties at large production for real-world applications! We discussed aerogels, how we go interested, and the hard truths about the awareness of material science. Thank you, George! :)

Background of George + Aspen Aerogels! → 📓

TL;DR → George Gould

George went to college/chemistry when he was 17 for every summer. He did organic chemistry for 4 years, got a degree in inorganic chemistry, and kinetic reactions, etc.

Did a post-doctoral at a national laboratory, he did work in carbohydrates & in catalytic structures.

He made bio-renewable fuels, but he was making solvents/gels. But he was “accidentally” making gels. He didn’t know why until he found out about aerogels.

He has worked on several new products like Aspen Aerogels such as Pyrogel, Cryogel, and Spaceloft.

TL;DR → Aspen Aerogels

Aspen Aerogels is a leading energy technology company producing high-quality insulation materials such as Pyrogel, Cryogel, etc. to innovate & disrupt the $2.8 billion energy insulation market.

All right, enough writing! Let’s talk about our discussion, his words of wisdom, and my takeaways! 😁

Discussion + My Takeaways! → 🧠

Question from George:

  • “How do you take an aerogel, and use it for real-world applications?”

His answer was:

  • “When you make things at the right thickness, you can make them fast.”

If you make aerogels the size of blocks, that can take months.

But if you take aerogels and make the thickness equal to one inch (or 3 cm), the process can take less time, therefore being able to produce more aerogel for real-world applications.

Cryogel + Pryogel! → 😮

The upper limit of Cryogel = 130 Celsius (260 Fahrenheit)

With a reflective foil of Cryogel, rainwater won’t go in & heat will be reflected off the material.

Cryogel is for things to not get into a system.

Pryogel is the same as Cryogel but used with “e-glass”, these substances block infrared wavelengths.

Blackbody Radiation of the Cryogel is (600 F)

But how does Pryogel block/reflect infrared light?

❌ That’s a secret, unfortunately! Sorry about that reader, I can’t share that information with you. ❌

Thoughts On The Material Science Field/Industry → 🤔

Material Science will solve the problems like getting rid of CO2, go to Mars, purified Water, etc.

Silica Aerogel, Carbon Aerogels, Organic Aerogels, can save a lot of things. Air Purification, Medical Devices, cleaning up oil spills, supercapacitors, etc.

If you think about it, material science is all around us: our clothes, our computer, everything! Enhancing the material science industry means enhancing & disrupting multiple industries, if not all!

So Why Isn’t The World Having Aerogel In Their Homes? → 💭

The scale is the supply chain/problem of aerogel.

10x Capacity, we can lower the cost, and yields will be higher.

Create a VERTICAL INTEGRATION with aerogel technologies. A Vertical Integration is acquiring a company operating in the production process of the same industry.

Aerogels will be more accessible once we bring the cost down to the price of foam. Currently, the price of foam is $1.00 to $1.20 per square foot.

Once again, huge shoutout to Aspen Aerogels & George Gould for organizing this 1-on-1 and allowing me to learn more from aerogels & you! Thank you so much! :)

Connect →🔗



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