Thursday, April 28 | 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Stephen F. & Camilla T. Brauer Hall, Room 12
6548 Forest Park Pkwy, St. Louis, MO 63112, USA
High Performance Carbon Materials: Optimizing Gas-Phase Synthesis Kinetics to Achieve Material Performance and Synthesis Efficiency
The functional properties of nano-carbons are well known, but only in the last three years have large-scale materials composed of nano-carbons demonstrated strength, thermal and electrical properties that meet or exceed steel, aluminium and carbon fibre. Macroscopic materials composed of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) form networks of bundles which serve as the functional unit that spans the extent of the material. Advances over the last decade have resulted in a doubling of ultimate tensile strength every three years, largely as a result of bundle densification and alignment. This presentation will demonstrate two new methods of CNT alignment for the enhancement of CNT fibre strength, electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity. Alternating electrical fields enable CNTs to stiffen, align and bundle during CNT self assembly. Post processing with aerogels via wet acid stretching increases the tensile strength of CNT fibres beyond the strength, conductivity and toughness of steel with holistic properties that are superior to any high-performance fibre. Larger questions remain regarding whether bulk materials can be produced at sufficient density for wide-scale applications. New techniques for measuring the rates of catalyst formation and kinetics of CNT growth will provide a means for studying the ultimate limitations of reaction density and reactor throughput. These techniques are being applied to study new CO2e net-sequestering carbon materials when produced from new sources of methane, such as gasified biomass and landfill gas.
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