In the past 4 years CA18125 AERoGELS COST Action has explored the research, development and engineering of aerogels, dramatically increasing the scientific impact of aerogels. Indeed, IUPAC has identified aerogels as a Top Ten Emerging Technology in Chemistry in 2022.
However, Europe is currently facing challenges linked to the restricted access to resources, so aerogels production has to adapt to the current European environmental policy to sustain and further extend the niche markets of aerogels while reducing manufacturing costs. Hereinto, circular economy is an approach towards a more sustainable management of resources by the reuse and recycling of products combined with the valorisation of wastes.
In this contest, the COST Innovators Grant (CIG) ECO-AERoGELS will position aerogel technology in the forefront of the technical solutions facing the current European environmental and circular economy contexts. Innovations will focus on: (i) the product, with new sources from the biorefinery approach, the valorisation of wastes and the recycling of materials; (ii) the process, with its integrations with rationale use of raw materials and energy, as well as the use of emerging green technologies, and the reprocessing of aerogels for the next use; and (iii) the applications, for energy-efficient uses, personalized solutions, and water/air remediation.
ECO-AERoGELS will be based on ideas cross-fertilization and networking between innovators, including scientists, industrial players and business developers. It will also contribute to the dissemination of the research and innovation outcomes resulting from this CIG and to the long-term sustainability of the created international community and European scientific-technological ecosystem generated with the CA18125 Action.