Simple, low cost methods of manufacturing highly porous structures are provided. The methods involve building up porous structures with elements shaped to provide the desired strength, porosity and pore structure of the porous structure and then sintering the elements together to form the structure. Also provided are novel sintered porous structures made up of sintered non-spherical elements. In certain embodiments, the shaped green elements and the porous structure are simultaneously sintered. Also provided are novel sintered porous structures made up of sintered non-spherical elements.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT
 This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 awarded by the United States Department of Energy to The Regents of the University of California for the management and operation of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The government has certain rights in this invention