Upsalite®

It was supposed to be impossible, but … we did it! Disruptive Materials has succeeded in manufacturing mesoporous magnesium carbonate, and its properties are mind blowing. It has the highest surface area ever measured for an alkaline earth metal carbonate with a pore structure that can be precisely tailored in a manufacturing process that is efficient and environmentally friendly.  It shows promising performance as a drug delivery vehicle in vitro. It can increase the solubility of poorly soluble drugs by several hundred percent and also adjust their release rate. Upsalite® has an extremely high moisture adsorption capacity at low humidity and is safe to consume.

General properties

The material Upsalite® has some very interesting properties:

Proporties Upsalite
Chemical Composition MgCO3 (with traces of MgO)
Average pore size can be tuned between 3 and 20 nm
Structure X-ray amorphous
Pore Volume 0.5–1.5cm3/g
Color White powder or granulate
Surface Area 400–800m2/g

The story of the "Impossible Material" Upsalite®

Maria StrömmeIt all began in December of 2011 at the Division of Nanotechnology and Functional Materials at Uppsala University, Sweden. A group of researchers was working on the synthesis of porous calcium carbonate and decided to try synthesizing magnesium carbonate using a similar route. Unaware of previous problems associated with synthesizing anhydrous and amorphous magnesium carbonate, especially at temperatures below 100°C, the researchers continued to work on the project. After some modification of the synthesis conditions and accidentally leaving the synthesis reactor on over a weekend, they were confronted by something interesting when they arrived at the laboratory on Monday morning.
In the reactor, they found a rigid gel that solidified when it was heated in an oven. The researchers started to characterize the material and it soon turned out that it was extremely porous (with pores in the lower nanometer size range) and had a specific surface area of several hundred square meters per gram. Further testing showed that the material was amorphous and was indeed composed of anhydrous magnesium carbonate.
When they read the literature on inorganic carbonates, the researchers discovered that this type of porous magnesium carbonate had never been produced before. The employed synthesis route enabled the production of anhydrous magnesium carbonate at temperatures well below 100°C, which had previously been claimed to be impossible. Encouraged by these findings, the researchers continued to characterize the material and to describe the reaction mechanism. They named the product Upsalite®. The results of this study were published in PLOS ONE in July 2013. Disruptive Materials AB was formed with the aim of commercializing Upsalite® and other functional materials developed by the research team behind Upsalite®.

The results of this study were published in PLOS ONE in July 2013.

Research

Upsalite® is being developed in a close collaboration between our own R&D department and researchers at the Ångström Laboratory at Uppsala University, in the Department of Engineering Sciences, Nano Technology and Functional Materials. Together, we have the capacity to develop unique cutting-edge materials, according to our customer requirements. We are constantly looking for collaborations with other research teams that could give us new ideas and help us develop new applications for our materials.

Scientific Publications