Electrochemical Capacities of Commercially Available Structural Carbon Fibers, Fabrics, and Papers

Report No. ARL-TR-4574
Authors: Emma L. Wong, James F. Snyder, and Clifford W. Hubbard
Date/Pages: September 2008; 24 pages
Abstract: This study focuses on the anodic properties of unmodified commercial carbon fabric materials for potential use in applications that require electrochemical capacity or electrochemical capacitance. Electrochemically active fabrics could enable scalable integration of structural carbon with energy storage devices and facilitate the development of multifunctional structural composites that provide energy storage. Electrochemical capacity and capacitance were evaluated for carbon fibers based on poly(acrylonitrile) (PAN), pitch, or activated carbon; and papers made from carbon nanotubes or nanofoams. While each material exhibited variable performance that depended on processing and dimensions, PAN-based fibers and nanofoam papers demonstrated superior reversible capacities as high as 186 mA*h/g. Capacitances for activated carbon fibers, nanotube fibers, and nanofoam papers consistently approached or exceeded 10 F/g.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2008