Nanoporous silica cryogels with a high specific surface area of 1095m 2g 1 were fabricated using tert-butyl alcohol as a reaction solvent, via a cost-effective sol-gel process followed by vacuum freeze drying. The total time of cryogel production was reduced markedly to one day. The molar ratio of solvent/precursor, which was varied from 5 to 13, significantly affected the porous structure and thermal insulating properties of the cryogels. The silica cryogels with low densities in the range of 0.08-0.18gcm 3 and thermal conductivities as low as 6.7mW(m·K) 1 at 100Pa and 28.3mW(m·K) 1 at 10 5Pa were obtained using this new technique.
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