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Research Project Information




Research Project Summary Information



Commercialization of Energy Efficient Aerogel Materials through Innovative Production System(ST10296-1)

American Aerogel Corporation

Background

American Aerogel Corporation (AAC) started developing cost effective means to produce aerogels and aerogel-like materials in 1999. AAC produces and licenses the production of Aerocore™, an advanced nanoporous open-celled foam material for a wide variety of applications. Its broad initial application area is in thermal insulation, where it provides dramatically higher levels of performance than other currently available technologies. AAC’s first commercialized application has been Vacuum Insulated Panels (VIPs) for shipping containers of temperature-sensitive biomedical and pharmaceutical products. Aerocore™ can be used in myriad container types, sizes and geometries that sometimes limit the effectiveness of other insulation materials. It exhibits R values of 40 to 50+ per inch while under a soft vacuum, versus R values of three to seven per inch for polystyrene and polyurethane. A box from AAC with one inch of Aerocore™ can keep a cubic-foot payload space at -70°C for over 100 hours using only five pounds of dry ice, compared with the less than 24 hours provided by one inch of polyurethane. Development of an automated production system for Aerocore7 will increase production levels, giving AAC the ability to expand into new markets.

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Project Description

The project was to develop and demonstrate an innovative production system capable of producing Aerocore7 in large quantities. This system had been proven in a small laboratory environment and needed to be tested for durability, reliability, and quality when transferred into a manufacturing environment.

Benefits

•Save electricity from automating process •Reduce transportation costs in the gas and oil industry •Reduce energy usage in commercial and residential heating and cooling •Reduce oil and gas use in the production of common insulation materials •Create jobs

Project Results

•Reduced electricity consumption per board foot 76% from 34.5 kWh to 8.31 kWh per board foot. •Added 20 full-time jobs and retained 10 existing jobs as a result of this project. •Increased production by more than 3,000% in the first year. •Improved product quality and working conditions, and reduced waste resulting from developing a “closed system” that reduces humidity and temperature issues, and semi-automated chemical handling and production capability.

Contractor

American Aerogel Corporation
460 Buffalo Rd., Suite 200-A Attn: Greg Goodridge
Rochester, NY 14611

Principle Investigator

Erin Toner

Universities Involved

Technologies

Project Type:

On-site Process Improvement


Technologies Types:

NYSERDA Contact Information

Miriam Pye
MEP@nyserda.ny.gov

Program

R&D - Mfg Tech & On-Site Pwr

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST10296-1




Last Updated: 7/16/2014