Aerogels are a special class of nanoporous materials with increasing interest in biomedical and pharmaceutical applications due to their open pore structure and high surface area. Among them, polysaccharide aerogels are biodegradable and biocompatible and, therefore, can be used as carriers for drug delivery systems. In this work, an analysis of their production from the environmental point of view was made, following a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach with the aim of reducing the total emissions. Maize starch aerogels were produced on a pilot scale using a three-step process: first, the gel is prepared using an aqueous solution, then water is replaced by ethanol forming an alcogel and finally, carbon dioxide at supercritical conditions is used as non-solvent to dry the gel and obtain the aerogel. The materials and energy consumptions were determined and the emissions to air, soil and water due the aerogel production were evaluated; all data were normalized to the functional unit (1 g of final aerogel). The environmental analysis was conducted using SimaPro 8.0.4 software and the data for the life cycle inventory were experimentally measured or recovered from the Ecoinvent database.
|Titolo:||LCA of starch aerogels for biomedical applications|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1.2 Articolo su rivista con ISSN|