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Changes in hydrogen storage properties of carbon nano-horns submitted to thermal oxidation

Berlouis, L. and Morrow, J. (2010) Changes in hydrogen storage properties of carbon nano-horns submitted to thermal oxidation. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 35 (17). pp. 9070-9081. ISSN 0360-3199

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Abstract

The effect of thermal oxidation on the hydrogen storage properties of carbon nano-horns was investigated by gravimetric and electrochemical methods. The pristine nano-horn sample was oxidised at 673 K in air for different periods (15, 30 and 60 min) and the resulting materials were characterised. The N2 adsorption experiments reveal a marked increase in the surface area, from 267 m2 g-1, for the pristine sample, up to 1360 m2 g-1 for the sample oxidised for the 60 min period, and a reduction in the average pore diameter. The gravimetric investigation, conducted at low temperature (77 K) showed an increase in the hydrogen storage, from 0.75 wt% for the pristine sample up to 2.60 wt% for the oxidised material. Reproducible and stable hydrogen storage was found for all the samples examined apart from the sample oxidised for 60 min. For the latter, a decrease in the amount of hydrogen stored between the first and second cycles was found. Electrochemical loading of hydrogen in the samples was performed at room temperature (298 K) in alkaline solution by the galvanostatic charge/ discharge technique. The results obtained here however show a much lower hydrogen storage level by the samples as compared to the gas storage method, with a maximum value of 0.124 wt% H2 and with very little dependence on the thermal oxidation treatment.