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Preparation of controlled porosity carbon aerogels for energy storage in rechargeable lithium oxygen batteries

Mirzaeian, Mojtaba and Hall, Peter J. (2009) Preparation of controlled porosity carbon aerogels for energy storage in rechargeable lithium oxygen batteries. Electrochimica Acta, 54 (28). pp. 7444-7451. ISSN 0013-4686

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Porous carbon aerogels are prepared by polycondensation of resorcinol and formaldehyde catalyzed by sodium carbonate followed by carbonization of the resultant aerogels in an inert atmosphere. Pore structure of carbon aerogels is adjusted by changing the molar ratio of resorcinol to catalyst during gel preparation and also pyrolysis under Ar and activation under CO2 atmosphere at different temperatures. The prepared carbons are used as active materials in fabrication of composite carbon electrodes. The electrochemical performance of the electrodes has been tested in a Li/O2 cell. Through the galvanostatic charge/discharge measurements, it is found that the cell performance (i.e. discharge capacity and discharge voltage) depends on the morphology of carbon and a combined effect of pore volume, pore size and surface area of carbon affects the storage capacity. A Li/O2 cell using the carbon with the largest pore volume (2.195 cm3/g) and a wide pore size (14.23 nm) showed a specific capacity of 1290 mA h gāˆ’1.