Due to the presence of numerous pores in its structure, the mesoporous MCM-41 material can be used in the preservation of various materials such as catalysts and in drug delivery systems.
Since mesoporous materials have high specific area, surfactants stay in their pores after the synthesis of mesoporous materials. A number of methods have so far been proposed in order to eliminate the surfactants, all of which have some disadvantages. Among the disadvantages of the methods, mention can be made of the use of high temperature, the production of toxic gases during the elimination process, long period of the process, lack of the full removal of the surfactants, and the use of different devices and tools. Therefore, it is necessary to propose a cost-effect, fast and simple method in this regard.
The researchers eliminated the surfactants trapped in the pores of MCM-41 high efficiency by using ultrasonic waves through sonication process.
In order to remove the surfactants, the synthesized mespore was immersed in an alcoholic solution and the sonication process was carried out on it. Due to one stage of sonication process – taking place at 40° C, up to 93% of the trapped surfactants were released in the solution. Being rapid and simple, this method shows a high efficiency. The alcohol used in this method can be reused after being recycled.