Prof. Michael S. Silverstein

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Prof. Michael S. Silverstein


Mar 2021 (Early Access)* POLYMER INTERNATIONAL

One-pot Emulsion Templating For Simultaneous Hydrothermal Carbonization And Hydrogel Synthesis: Porous Structures, Nitrogen Contents And Activation

By: Horowitz, A (Horowitz, Adi) Shaul, G (Shaul, Gil) Silverstein, MS (Silverstein, Michael S.)


Porous carbons are of interest for a wide range of advanced-technology ‘green’ energy applications including fuel cells, hydrogen storage, supercapacitors and batteries. Functional groups, heteroatoms and a more accessible hierarchical porous structure would be advantageous for many of these applications. This paper describes the generation of carbonaceous monoliths with hierarchically porous structures and nitrogen functionalities by using a one-pot, simultaneous combination of hydrogel synthesis and hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) that involves templating within high internal phase emulsions (HIPEs). A carbon monolith with a density of 0.058 g cm(-3), a highly interconnected, bimodal porous structure and an apparent specific surface area (S-BET) of 101 m(2) g(-1) was produced by carbonizing a HTC monolith based on 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) at 450 degrees C. S-BET of 1540 m(2) g(-1) was produced through subsequent chemical activation with ZnCl2 at 700 degrees C, but the overall residual mass (R-m) was only 9 wt%. Direct chemical activation of the HTC monolith, on the other hand, generated S-BET of 1250 m(2) g(-1) and an overall R-m of 28 wt%, corresponding to a higher apparent surface area per mass of HTC monolith. Carbon monoliths with N/C ratios of 0.09 and 0.07 were achieved using nitrogen-rich monomers (acrylamide and vinylimidazole, respectively) as compared to the HEMA-based carbon monolith with an N/C ratio of 0.03. This work demonstrates that the hierarchically porous structures and the chemical structures of these highly porous monoliths can be fine-tuned by modifying the HIPE composition and/or the processing conditions. (c) 2021 Society of Industrial Chemistry.