FURI | Spring 2022
Geochemically Inspired Synthesis of Mesoporous Silica
This project seeks to synthesize mesoporous silica by using the abundant mineral forsterite as a silica source. It was found that mesoporous silica can be synthesized from forsterite, with the optimal conditions being 70 °C and -0.2 pH for 24 hours, which yielded a specific surface area of 735 m2/g and a total pore volume of 1.40 mL/g. These findings demonstrate a pathway to synthesizing mesoporous materials by using abundant minerals instead of hazardous organosilicate precursors. Future research should focus on whether other surfactants would have functioned as soft templates as P123 in this study.
Hometown: Tempe, Arizona, United States
Graduation date: Spring 2022