Surface characteristics and electrochemical capacitances of carbon aerogels obtained from resorcinol and pyrocatechol using boric and oxalic acids as polymerization catalysts

Carlos Moreno-Castilla, Marta B. Dawidziuk, Francisco Carrasco-Marín, Zulamita Zapata-Benabithe

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    58 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Carbon aerogels were prepared by carbonizing (at 500-1500 °C) organic aerogels obtained from the polymerization reaction of resorcinol and/or pyrocatechol with formaldehyde using boric and oxalic acids as polymerization catalysts. Prepared samples were characterized by different techniques to ascertain their composition, surface chemistry, morphology, and surface physics, determining their electrochemical capacitances in acidic medium. The use of pyrocatechol yielded carbon aerogels that were micro-mesoporous, showing Type IV N2 adsorption isotherms with Type H2 hysteresis cycles. The volume and size of mesopores depended on the acid catalyst used and the temperature at which the carbon aerogel was obtained. Conversely, the sample prepared with resorcinol and boric acid as catalyst was micro-macroporous and that obtained with a resorcinol-pyrocatechol mixture was micro-mesoporous but with large mesopores. Most of the boric acid used was lost during the exchange of water with acetone in the organic hydrogels before their supercritical CO2 drying. Carbon aerogels obtained at 900 °C and using boric acid as polymerization catalyst showed a capacitance between 17 and 24 μF/cm 2. Boron influenced the capacitance because it increased the oxygen content. Sample synthesized using pyrocatechol, formaldehyde, and oxalic acid and heat-treated at 900 °C had the highest capacitance, 34 μF/cm 2.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3808-3819
    Number of pages12
    JournalCarbon
    Volume49
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Oct 2011

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This research was supported by the Junta de Andalucía project RNM 547. M.B.D. acknowledges a pre-doctoral fellowship from the Junta de Andalucía. To Dr. Emilia Morallón from the Universidad de Alicante, Spain, for her help with the electrochemical measurements.

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