A method for forming a reinforced rigid anode monolith and fuel and product of such method. The method includes providing a solution of organic aerogel or xerogel precursors including at least one of a phenolic resin, phenol (hydroxybenzene), resorcinol(1,3-dihydroxybenzene), or catechol(1,2-dihydroxybenzene); at least one aldehyde compound selected from the group consisting of formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and furfuraldehyde; and an alkali carbonate or phosphoric acid catalyst; adding internal reinforcement materials comprising carbon to said precursor solution to form a precursor mixture; gelling said precursor mixture to form a composite gel; drying said composite gel; and pyrolyzing said composite gel to form a wettable aerogel/carbon composite or a wettable xerogel/carbon composite, wherein said composites comprise chars and said internal reinforcement materials, and wherein said composite is suitable for use as an anode with the chars being fuel capable of being combusted in a molten salt electrochemical fuel cell in the range from 500 C to 800 C to produce electrical energy. Additional methods and systems/compositions are also provided.
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.