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A study was performed to investigate the use of coal derived feedstock for producing mesophase pitch. Coal-tar distillate was transformed to mesophase pitch by using a high pressure batch-scale autoclave. We had reported previously (Part I) the results from the Thermal Route to produce mesophase pitch from coal tar distillates and graphite artifact derived from it. In this Part II report, we will present the second and different method, the Solvent Extraction Route, to produce mesophase pitch. The comparisons between these two routes will be presented in terms of production yields and mesophase pitch characterizations and quality. Example of graphite artifacts made from thermally-produced and solvent-extracted mesophase pitches are characterized and presented.

The highly interconnected graphitized macroporous carbon foams were successfully synthesised by one-step low temperature process using resorcinol and formaldehyde as carbon precursors and metal nitrate as a graphitization catalyst. The commercially available polyurethane foam was used as a sacrificial polymer template. The obtained three-dimensional (3D) highly interconnected graphitized carbon foams were extensively characterized by using powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), nitrogen adsorption-desorption measurement, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), raman spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). XRD and TEM results clearly demonstrated the presence of a well-defined graphitic framework. The surface morphology of the macroporous carbon foam was studied by using SEM and the results clearly showed the presence of a highly interconnected porous network throughout the structure. The thermal stability of the carbon foam was also examined by TGA. The effects of various parameters such as precursor ratio, curing time & temperature, concentration of the metal nitrate and graphitization temperature were investigated. The physical properties of the carbon foam as such density, pore size and total porosity were also studied and the salient results are discussed.




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