Dense Carbon Nanoflower Pellets for Methane Storage

Shucheng Chen, Huaxin Gong, Birol Dindoruk, Jiajun He, Zhenan Bao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Natural gas is a promising alternative transportation fuel over conventional gasoline because of its low harmful gas emissions and abundant reserves. The key challenge hindering its extensive use for this application has been a lack of materials that can store it in a "dense"form efficiently at ambient temperature. Herein, this work reports the development of high-performance dense carbon nanoflower pellets for on-board methane storage applications. Polyacrylonitrile pellets are prepared by taking advantage of the uniform polymer particle size obtained through the one-step free radical polymerization process. These polymer pellets can be readily converted to carbon pellets while preserving the densely packed structure. The obtained high bulk density and interconnected micro-, meso-, and macropores provide carbon nanoflower pellets with a record-setting bulk density (0.96 g cm-3), while having a surface area of 1077 m2 g-1. High methane storage capacities of 165 and 196 cm3 (STP) cm-3 are achieved at 35 and 65 bar, respectively. This work provides a simple method to prepare densely packed carbon pellets. Because the carbon pellets reported here can be readily prepared at a large scale, this work demonstrates a promising path toward the utilization of carbon materials for potential gas and energy storage applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8278-8285
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 28 2020


  • carbons
  • methane storage
  • nanomaterials
  • pellets
  • porous materials
  • superstructures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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