Materials Science

Novel Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion
Porous Materials for Energy Storage
Stefan Kaskel, Technical University of Dresden, Germany

In recent years, exciting developments have pushed the limits of materials performance to ever higher surface areas up to 7000 m2/g and pore sizes unattained so far in traditional porous solids such as zeolites or activated carbons. The rational design of porous materials using well defined building blocks (clusters) and linkers in the case of Metal-Organic Frameworks is now a tool-box, initially only aiming at well defined pore sizes in a crystalline structure but now more and more focussing on further refining the interior pore structure by post-functionalization or the introduction of specific linker molecules with well defined functionality.
Due to the extremely high gas uptake of novel porous materials they are recently discussed in energy storage applications for hydrogen storage and natural gas in mobile and stationary applications. While hydrogen is only stored to a significant degree at cryogenic temperatures, natural gas can be stored at room temperature in porous materials. An example is the new mesoporous DUT-6 (DUT = Dresden University of Technology) with a specific pore volume of 2 cm3/g with the highest capacity for methane storage observed so far.

Porous materials also are key elements in industrial gas separation units. For biomass derived methane, carbon dioxide separation requires highly selective adsorption processes. Such separation methods can also replace traditional distillation techniques and reduce the energy consumption in industrial processes.

Today a wide variety of materials from soft polymers to hard ceramics is available with high specific surface areas unattained so far and ordered pore structures. In the carbide-to-carbon transformation porous carbides can be now converted into carbon superadsorbers (CDC) with an inner surface as high as 3000 m2/g. They are promising components in electrical energy storage in so called supercapacitors.

An overview about new porous materials and their role in energy storage, gas capture/separation, and electrical energy storage will be discussed.

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Materials Science

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