A Waste-Derived Biosurfactant for the Preparation of Templated Silica Powders



A polymeric anionic biosurfactant isolated from urban bio-wastes was used as a template for fabricating silica powders of pore size ranging from 4 to 30 nm by the sol-gel reaction of tetraethylorthosilicate and 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane at pH 5. The morphology of the synthesized silica powders was found to depend on the size and the conformation of the biosurfactant molecules or aggregates in solution. The use of waste-derived biosurfactants as templating agents reduces the fabrication costs and the environmental impact of mesoporous materials. At the same time, it encourages the upgrade of bio-wastes from a costly disposal matter to a source of chemicals and therefore, of revenue.