Bassanite is a calcium sulphate phase, important due to its applications in bone regeneration processes, targeted drug delivery, or as strengthening material of architectonic and/or archaeological works made from gypsum.
Nevertheless, its selective production is still a challenge. Current methods are too complex, inefficient, or do not get the desired component with the desired properties. It is hard and laborious to obtain pure phases, to control calcium sulphate polymorphism, and the particles size and surface area.
To overcome these obstacles, a Spanish university research group has developed a novel production methodology. In only three steps, it produces small sized bassanite nanoparticles with a large surface area and high reactivity and with no by-products.
The method consists of a solvothermal synthesis that starts with a redox reaction between calcium metal and an aliphatic alcohol to produce calcium alkoxides. These will later react with sulfuric acid in the presence of toluene, resulting in an alcoholic suspension of bassanite nanoparticles. Finally, this solvent mixture evaporates to generate nanoparticles in powder form.
By using this method, it will become possible to meet current needs in the fields of heritage restoration, construction, and biomedicine.
The university is looking for partners from companies related to the development of new materials for construction, restoration, of biomedicine, interested in licensing this technology.