Exceptionally High Gravimetric Methane Storage in Aerogel-Derived Carbons


Storage of natural gas in highly porous materials provides a safer and more energy-efficient solution to energy-intensive compression and liquefaction options for advancing natural gas vehicular systems. Herein, we investigate the potential of highly porous aerogel-derived mesoporous carbons for storage of methane under the conditions relevant to adsorbed natural gas (ANG) tanks. Analysis of high-pressure isotherms indicated that EC-RF with a 2355 m2/g surface area and a 6.77 cm3/g total pore volume exhibited an exceptionally high gravimetric methane uptake with a deliverable capacity of 261 cm(STP)3/g in the pressure range of 5.8-65 bar and 25 °C which was 48% higher than that of the benchmark HKUST-1 material. Such behavior is attributed to its ultrahigh pore volume, large surface area, and low bulk density. In addition, our investigations demonstrated that upon desorbing the stored methane at 50 °C instead of 25 °C, both the methane deliverable capacity and the amount of methane recovered over EC-RF can be further increased to 305 cm(STP)3/g and 17%, respectively. Moreover, cyclic charge-discharge profiles revealed stable storage performance for this material. However, despite high gravimetric uptake, the volumetric uptake was only 89 cm(STP)3/cm3, which was 50% that of HKUST-1. The results reported herein demonstrate that for aerogel-based carbons to be considered suitable as ANG adsorbents, their properties should be optimized to yield high volumetric storage capacity, balanced with their exceptionally high gravimetric uptake capacity.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0888-5885; 1520-5045

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2020 American Chemical Society (ACS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

28 Oct 2020