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Accelerated Technique for Carbon Mesoporous Materials

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing SummaryORNL has developed improved production that is both more efficient and less costly for carbon mesoporous materials with pore diameters between 2 and 50 nm. This accelerated production method offers a more resilient product for commercial use in gas separation, water filtration, and electrode materials.DescriptionCurrent methods of manufacturing these materials have been hindered by how long it takes organic compounds to react and cure into a polymer that can serve as a carbon framework. If rushed, conventional approaches yield an incompletely formed polymer, which leads to carbon materials that are prone to shrinkage, cracking, and a loss of porosity.

To resolve these issues, researchers at ORNL combined the curing and carbonization process. The precursor is mixed in a phenolic compound along with an aldehyde component. A strong acid is added until a gel-like phase and a liquid phase begin to separate. The gel is then cured. In the subsequent carbonization step, the precursor composition is heated to convert it to a mesoporous carbon material. The resulting highly efficient materials feature improved thermal stability and preservation of the porous surface area. These materials can be used for many applications that require exceptionally durable, heat-resistant carbon materials.
Benefits• More efficient and cost effective production method for carbon mesoporous material
• Carbon material produced has improved thermal stability, less shrinkage, and sustained mesoporosity
Applications and Industries• Gas separation
• Water purification and nanofiltration
• Catalyst support
• Electrode materials
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 8,114,510
Mesoporous carbon materials
The invention is directed to a method for fabricating a mesoporous carbon material, the method comprising subjecting a precursor composition to a curing step followed by a carbonization step, the precursor composition comprising: (i) a templating component comprised of a block copolymer, (ii) a phenolic compound or material, (iii) a crosslinkable aldehyde component, and (iv) at least 0.5 M concentration of a strong acid having a pKa of or less than -2, wherein said carbonization step comprises heating the precursor composition at a carbonizing temperature for sufficient time to convert the precursor composition to a mesoporous carbon material. The invention is also directed to a mesoporous carbon material having an improved thermal stability, preferably produced according to the above method.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory 02/14/2012
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
UT-B ID 200702008DevelopmentAvailable10/04/201110/04/2011

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To: Jennifer Tonzello Caldwell<>