Authors Mohammed, I. ; Bernhardt, R. ; Schubert, M. ; Hampel, U.
Title Non-invasive morphological characterization of cellular loofa sponges using digital microscopy and micro-CT
Date 14.07.2021
Number 59975
Abstract Loofa sponge is a naturally-grown and decomposable material providing high specific surface area and high porosity for potential application as an environmentally-friendly catalyst carrier. In this work, cellular samples of various loofa types cut from different fiber network regions of the fruits were studied in detail using non-invasive imaging techniques. Digital microscopy was applied to characterize the cellular fiber network, which revealed a honeycomb structure in the core region and a sandwich structure in the wall region. Furthermore, reconstructed three-dimensional (3D) morphological images of the loofa samples obtained via micro-tomography (micro-CT) were utilized to extract the geometrical properties cell size, window diameter and strut thickness as well as porosity and volume-specific surface area. The reconstructed loofa samples revealed porosities of about 92% and specific surface areas up to 2057 m2/m3. In addition, the geometrical properties of manufactured solid foams (ceramic and polyurethane) were also determined via micro-CT and compared with loofa sponge. Finally, the different characteristic cell dimensions were employed to predict the porosity and specific surface area with available geometrical correlations. Deviations between correlation and measurement data (±16%) can be attributed to the peculiarity of the loofa cellular fiber network, which is somewhat different from the tetradecahedral-shaped geometry commonly used as the basis for most of the available correlations.
Publisher International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering
Citation International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering 19 (2021) 1057-1073

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