An aerogel composite material produced by compression molding of aerogel microspheres (powders) mixed together with a small percentage of polymer binder to form monolithic shapes in a cost-effective manner. The aerogel composites are formed by mixing aerogel microspheres with a polymer binder, placing the mixture in a mold and heating under pressure, which results in a composite with a density of 50-800 kg/m.sup.3 (0.05-0.80 g/cc). The thermal conductivity of the thus formed aerogel composite is below that of air, but higher than the thermal conductivity of monolithic aerogels. The resulting aerogel composites are attractive for applications such as thermal insulation since fabrication thereof does not require large and expensive processing equipment. In addition to thermal insulation, the aerogel composites may be utilized for filtration, ICF target, double layer capacitors, and capacitive deionization.
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.