Porous carbon fiber with continuous pore structure


© Photo: Toray

The fiber and textile manufacturer Toray Industries Inc., Osaka/Japan, claims to have created the world’s first porous carbon fiber with a nano-sized continuous pore structure. Using this fiber as a support layer could lighten advanced membranes used in greenhouse gas separation and hydrogen production and make them more compact, thereby enhancing performance.
Absorption and adsorption-based facilities conventionally separate carbon dioxide, biogas, hydrogen, and other gases. These consume a lot of energy, resulting in heavy carbon dioxide emissions. Toray’s new material is chemically stable because it comprises carbon, and offers very good gas permeability. The material employs thin, flexible fibers, so when it is used to support gas membranes a module can house many of them. Modules can thus be compact and light. This makes it possible to combine a range of gas separation layers.
The company has created a porous carbon fiber with uniformly continuous pores and carbon. It is possible to set nano- through micro-level pore sizes for porous structures. Another possibility is to create a hollow fiber-shaped porous carbon fiber in the center of a fiber.
Prospective applications include electrode materials and catalyst carriers (base substances for fixing other substances) in high-performance batteries.