70. Sanganwar, Ganesh P.; Gupta, Ram B.; Ermoline, Alexandre; Scicolone, James V.; Dave, Rajesh N. Environmentally benign nanomixing by sonication in high-pressure carbon dioxide. Journal of Nanoparticle Research (2009), 11(2), 405-419.
Due to the increased use of nanocomposites, mixing at nanoscale has become important. Current mixing techniques can be classified into: (a) dry mixing (mech. mixing), (b) wet mixing, and (c) simultaneous prodn. of mixed nanoparticles (when possible). Dry mixing is in general not effective in achieving desired mixing at nanoscale, whereas wet mixing suffers from different disadvantages like nanomaterial of interest should be insol., has to wet the liq., and involves addnl. steps of filtration and drying. This paper examines the use of pressurized carbon dioxide having high d. and low viscosity to replace the liqs. (e.g., n-hexane, toluene). Ultrasound is applied to the suspension of nanopowders in gaseous and supercrit. carbon dioxide where high impact collisions during sonication help mixing and the final mixt. is obtained by simple depressurization. The method is tested for binary mixt. of alumina/silica, silica/titania, MWNT (multiwalled carbon nanotubes)/silica, and MWNT/titania. The effects of sonication intensity and pressure on the degree of mixing are studied. Comparative study is also done with liq. n-hexane as a mixing media. Quant. characterization (e.g., mean compn. std. deviation, intensity of segregation) of mixing of alumina/silica and silica/titania is done with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and that of MWNT/silica and MWNT/titania is done using field-emission SEM and day-light illumination spectrophotometry. Results show that mixing in carbon dioxide at higher ultrasound amplitudes is as good as in liq. n-hexane, and the final mixed product does not contain any residual media as in the case of liq. n-hexane.