Shaping and Mechanical Reinforcement of Silica Aerogel Biocatalysts with Ceramic Fiber Felts
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The synthesis of silica aerogels reinforced with either carbon or silica fibre felts and which encapsulate the lipase PS of Amano (LPS AB025407) obtained from Burkholderia cepacia is described. The materials were further shaped by moulding them in Teflon® tubes. The silica aerogels were synthesized with various ratios of hydrophobic groups and dried according to the supercritical CO2 method. Both types of reinforcements improve the catalytic activity of the material per mass of lipase. The fibre felts reinforcements also enable the encapsulation of higher concentrations of lipase. The materials were shaped into small moulded monoliths, which were readily washed and recycled without significant mechanical deterioration or loss of catalytic activity. In addition, hydrophobic carbon felts reinforce more efficiently silica aerogels that incorporate a high ratio of hydrophobic groups, while silica felts strengthen those aerogels that carry a low proportion of hydrophobic groups.
Keywordsaerogels immobilization lipase ceramic felt reinforcement biocatalysis
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