(703b) Self-Assembled, Nanostructured Carbon for Energy Storage and Water Treatment | AIChE

(703b) Self-Assembled, Nanostructured Carbon for Energy Storage and Water Treatment


Mayes, R. T. - Presenter, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Kiggans, J. O. - Presenter, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Dai, S. - Presenter, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

This talk will present progress in efforts aimed at translating a unique approach for synthesis of self-assembled nanostructured carbon [1] into industrially viable technologies for two important applications: electrochemical double-layer capacitors for energy storage, and capacitive deionization systems for water treatment. Self-assembly through templating is one way to tailor carbon-based materials, enabling the formation of a uniform porous network in the mesopore size regime via manipulation and control of macroscopic process variables. These tailorable, nanostructured materials are synthesized by self assembly in solution, followed by heat treatment. Further activation results in a bimodal pore structure where micropores are present with the mesopores.  The larger mesopores allow for faster electrolyte transport. Characteristics of templated carbons having relatively high surface areas and hierarchical pore structures will be presented, as well as measurements of their specific capacitance under conditions relevant to applications. 

A focus of the presentation is on recent efforts to convert the mesoporous carbon into electrode materials that may be used practically in capacitive deionization devices. Previous work had indicated that ORNL’s mesoporous carbon (OMC) had attractive electrical performance; bench scale testing of the material showed significantly better performance in terms of capacity than commercial aerogel material [2].  However, a previous approach to generate electrodes suffered from variability and mechanical problems.  More recent advances have generated materials that utilize the mesoporous carbon in a form more suitable for CDI electrodes in industrial application.  Results of prototype testing will be presented.         

  1. C. Liang and S. Dai, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2006, 128 (16), pp 5316–5317. DOI: 10.1021/ja060242k
  2. Mayes, R.T., C. Tsouris, J.O. Kiggans, S.M. Mahurin, D.W. DePaoli, and S. Dai, J. Mater. Chem., 2010, 20(39), 8674-8678; DOI: 10.1039/C0JM01911A.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT: This research was supported by the Industrial Technologies Program of the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), under Contract DE-AC05-0096OR22725 with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, managed by UT-Battelle, LLC.