Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Degree Level



Chemical Engineering


Ubeyitogullari, Ali

Committee Member/Reader

Walker, Heather

Committee Member/Second Reader

Atungulu, Griffiths

Committee Member/Third Reader

Ahmadzadeh, Safoura

Committee Member/Fourth Reader

Hestekin, Jamie


Biodegradable, highly porous, ultra-lightweight, and high-surface-area aerogels from microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) and corn starch mixtures were synthesized through a simple, green process, specifically supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) drying. Five weight ratios of samples were generated (pure MCC, 2:1 MCC-starch, 1:1 MCC-starch, 1:2 MCC-starch, and pure starch) and were then subjected to a variety of characterization experiments relating to textural and thermal properties as well as morphology, crystallinity, and chemical interactions. Overall, the 1:2 MCC-starch aerogel had the lowest density (0.04 g/cm3), and highest porosity (97%). Conversely, the pure MCC aerogel demonstrated the highest mechanical strength (Young’s modulus of 48.9 MPa), highest thermal stability (peak degradation temperature of 317.6 °C), and highest specific surface area (302 m2/g). Due to their biodegradability, renewability, high surface areas, and highly porous structures, these generated aerogels are promising insulators and advanced packaging materials, potentially serving as a sustainable alternative to Styrofoam.


aerogel, supercritical carbon dioxide, drying, starch, cellulose, nanoporous

Available for download on Friday, November 29, 2024