(28a) Synthesis of Hierarchical Carbon Structures With Controlled Pore Size Using Polymer Blends
Hierarchical porous carbon materials with well connected micro and mesoporosity have shown high performance in different applications including catalysis, adsorption and energy storage. Synthesis of carbonaceous materials with bimodal porosity using a one-pot approach is of great interest due to process simplicity. Using soft templating approach and pluronic F-127 as the structure directing agent, the use of an expensive hard template can be avoided. This will also eliminate the post-synthesis treatments needed o remove the template. In this study, simultaneous polymerization of furfuryl alcohol and phloroglucinol was used to synthesize a polymer blend which resulted in a hierarchical carbon structure after pyrolysis. Polyfurfuryl alcohol is a thermosetting polymer which is typically used to produce microporous carbon with a narrow pore size distribution (~0.5 nm). On the other hand, phloroglucinol polymerization in the presence of HCl and formaldehyde forms a polymeric network which results in an ordered mesoporous carbon structure with the average pore size of 8-9 nm, after pyrolysis. The miscible polymeric blend synthesized by simultaneous polymerization of these two monomers was used as the hierarchical carbon source. It was shown that, pore volume and pore size of the resultant carbon material can be controlled by adjusting the relative monomers composition, HCl (polymerization catalyst) and formaldehyde concentration. Carbons with different mesopore size ranging from 3 nm to 17 nm were synthesized using this simple approach.