Aerogel: What If I Had A Lab?

Week #34: How I Would 10X The Filter

Carlos Manuel Jarquín Sánchez
2 min readJun 9, 2023

Preface! ✨

Hello everyone!

My intentions for writing these articles are:

  • Explain technical information about aerogels in simple terms (to the public)
  • Store information and habits for my future self and others (in <7 minutes)

Coolio? Sweet. Enjoy the series :-)

Job’s Not Done 👷

Good, we got the most challenging task out of the way:


The liftoff to giving people hope, faith,

That their water and their prosperity to life will be restored…

For their land, for their families, and for their successors.


I am looking for people who aspire to continue the mission…

The mission of purifying the water that we have.

Don’t worry, creating water abundance is on the way.

So, if you yearn to take the wheel of the water filtration bus I’ve driven…

Shoot me a DM on Twitter, and we’ll get you sorted.

P.S. I want someone who has lived 5+ years in a 3rd world country.


They already internalized the thinking behind their constituents/people.

They will always debate about spending a few extra dollars.

They will get it.

(There’s no other way to explain it in words. It must be lived to understand)

Also, the pain of seeing their world as hell,

Will push them harder & farther than someone who does for desire…

Or they are wanting to help.

Your source of motivation will be capped.

Pain > Desire to help… any day of the year.

The Lab Scenario ⚗️

I pulled it off with:

  • USD 450
  • Seven mentors
  • A laptop
  • A brain
  • Big Testosterone Power

To make perlas that were ~45% hydrophobic, with not-so-great mechanical strength…

And I still succeeded in creating it.

Task failed successfully, I guess…

But here’s what I would have done if I got access to a lab:

  • React the giant kelp powder with the buffer
  • Made the CaCl2 in its dish, then insert some heavy metal ions
  • Then, add the methacrylate, and stir well
  • Insert the catalyst to speed up the reaction…
  • And I would be left with a new compound, stronger material
  • The material would also be hydrophobic.

To increase strength and hydrophobic linkers in the material:

I would also add ethylenediamine or an amide chain (i.e. dimethylformamide, triethylamine)


To add amine/amide groups, and increase hydrophobicity + mechanical strength.

I would also use a JetCutter for the bead-making process.

They’ll cost you a bit… (like ~3000 USD, and from Germany),

But they’ll allow you to create round prototypes and hinder any defects in the material.


For more information on the modifications for laboratory performance:

Send a DM on Twitter.


Read the rest of the series.

I’ll catch you soon.


Connect →🔗



© 2023 by Carlos Manuel Jarquín Sánchez. All Rights Reserved.