Porous carbons: designed porosity for sustainable engineering applications

Porous carbon materials provide a combination of unique physicochemical properties rendering them suitable for different applications. Carbon materials often display relatively large electrical conductivity, high porosity with a high apparent surface area and active surface that lead to its importance in many applications, including renewable energy storage and generation. Moreover, their low cost is a very important parameter for its wide acceptance in industrial applications. Therefore, they are used in large quantities in potable water treatment plants and are key components of different electrochemical devices like supercapacitors, Li-ion batteries and fuel cells. They can be found in a large variety of morphologies (powder, fiber, cloths, monoliths, etc.), that make it possible to use appropriate characteristics in different applications. In this talk, we will review the preparation methods of porous carbons from the most conventional processes used in the industry to some of the most recent developments that provide examples of carbon materials of different morphologies and structures that can be synthesized. Finally, two examples (volatile organic compounds removal and hydrogen storage) will be presented to show the relevance of the porosity design to optimize the performance of the porous carbon materials.