Chemical Engineering Journal, 2019, vol 360pp. 631-644
Hard carbon powders with hierarchical mesoporous structure from resorcinol-formaldehyde polymer were successfully prepared by use of double pore forming method. Poly-diallyldimethylammonium chloride (pDADMAC) and commercial silica (Sipernat® 50) were used as structuring agent and hard template, respectively. Through the proposed procedure carbon powder with bimodal mesoporous size distribution (around 4–5 nm and 20–40 nm) and different pore volume ratios can be obtained, by changing the ratio pDADMAC/silica used in the synthesis. Pore volumes between 0.70 and 2.10 cm3·g−1, and specific surface areas between 662 and 998 m2·g−1 were obtained. Raman spectroscopy and X-Ray diffraction analysis showed that all the carbons presented a non-ordered mesopore structure, and a hard carbon micro-structure with roughly 40% of single-layer microstructures, an average of 2.6 stacked graphene layers, and an in-plane graphitic crystallite size around 3.4 nm. We have evaluated the adsorption of methylene blue, as a model of a pollutant dye, on the mesoporous carbons with different pore size distribution, and we found that carbons with bimodal pore size distribution exhibit a remarkable and irreversible adsorption capacity. Microporosity can help to enhance the adsorption capacity, provided that micropores are connected to mesopores, allowing the adsorbate to get deep into the carbon structure. The adsorption kinetic is very fast for carbons with such pore architecture, and can be well described by a three-stage intraparticle diffusion model.