Case ID: M23-165P^

Published: 2023-09-07 09:22:21

Last Updated: 1694078541


Elham Fini
Albert Hung

Technology categories

Alternative Energy/Biofuels/Bioplastics/AlgaeBioanalytical Assays, Chemistries & DevicesEnvironmentalPhysical Science

Licensing Contacts

Physical Sciences Team

SuperSilica (Hydrophobic Functionalization of Mineral Surfaces using Waste Bio-Oils)


In the manufacturing and construction industries, silica-based filters are commonly used to enhance performance of various materials. These silica-based filters are mostly hydrophobic in order to enhance dispersion and compatibility with surrounding constituents of the matrix, including organosilane or silsesquioxane. Hydrophobic silica can be made from siliceous substrates including silica fume, montmorillonite clay, or glass. Various surface treatments can be used to turn siliceous surfaces more hydrophobic, but they are often expensive.

Oils typically used for drying applications, including linseed, are a key ingredient in oil paints, linoleum, and wood finish. Oil polymerizes through a hydrogen abstraction reaction from allylic carbon and reaction with oxygen. Waste vegetable oil (e.g., from restaurants) can be an inexpensive alternative for polymerization applications.

Invention Description

Researchers at Arizona State University have developed SuperSilica, a low-cost, non-silane-based method of functionalizing the surface of siliceous and other non-alkaline mineral fillers to be hydrophobic using renewable and environmentally safe bio-based oils. This invention does not require silane or silsesquioxane chemistry, which can be expensive and require specific applications. SuperSilica involves using renewable or waste bio-based oils to provide an environmentally friendly and lower-cost alternative. Hydrophobicity was demonstrated in initial tests by an increased contact angle, with rough surfaces and powders exhibiting superhydrophobic water beading effects.

Potential Applications

  • Mineral fillers in composite materials
  • Composite materials with improved water repellancy
  • Hydrophobic coatings

Benefits & Advantages

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Safer chemistry (does not require silane or silesquioxane chemistry)
  • Lower cost (use of waste bio-based oils)
  • Demonstrated improved hydrophobicity in initial tests (increased contact angle, water beading effects)