From the lab bench to the fuel tank : development and analysis of novel adsorbents for hydrogen and natural gas storage
Hydrogen and natural gas offer a promising avenue towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector; however, storage poses a non-trivial challenge, with current systems requiring prohibitively large and bulky hardware. Adsorbent media, notably nanoporous activated carbons, have seen significant development towards making such solutions viable, but none have yet to demonstrate the performance necessary to supplant existing technologies. Presented here is the synthesis and optimization of two materials designed to be especially competitive, as well as the techniques implemented to characterize them. Boron doping of nanoporous carbons, with the incorporation of carrier gas assisted deposition, is proposed to enhance the surface���s binding potential while maintaining the integrity of the inherent pore space. This process explicitly demonstrates complete infiltration of the carbon's internal volume and facilitates boron substitution to a greater extent relative to other similarly-produterials. Carbon nitrides, specifically the graphitic isomer g-C[subscript 3]N[subscript 4], are theorized to produce adsorbents with surface areas and binding energy in excess of activated carbons via facile synthesis. Crystallographic investigation reveals the previously-reported synthesis methods instead produce a polymeric structure; this results in a highly-aggregating bulk that strongly resists exfoliation.
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