A process for making transparent porous glass monoliths from gels. The glass is produced much faster and in much larger sizes than present technology for making porous glass. The process reduces the cost of making large porous glass monoliths because: 1) the process does not require solvent exchange nor additives to the gel to increase the drying rates, 2) only moderate temperatures and pressures are used so relatively inexpensive equipment is needed, an 3) net-shape glass monoliths are possible using this process. The process depends on the use of temperature to control the partial pressure of the gel solvent in a closed vessel, resulting in controlled shrinking during drying.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.