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Professorin Dr. Barbara Milow, Institut für Anorganische Chemie/DLR (16.05.2019)

Aerogel research under the sign of e-mobility

Carbon aerogels as cathode material for novel battery concepts

One of the most central social challenges of our time is sustainable energy supply. In addition to pure material and technology development, future-oriented aspects such as the sector coupling of energy and transport, but also the instruments of digitization, are gaining in importance. This interaction is a great opportunity, but also a great challenge. Sufficient attention must be paid to the holistic development of safe, environmentally compatible and at the same time efficient technologies and concepts. In this complex of topics we are dedicated to the development of new materials, aerogels and aerogel composites.
In the development of new metal-sulfur batteries, carbon aerogels offer novel possibilities due to their precisely adjustable micro- and nanoporous network structures. Already in the sol-gel process during the synthesis of organic aerogels, changes of the process parameters are decisive, but also in the carbonization process, fine tuning can have a decisive influence on the pore size distribution. The porous structures and their electrical conductivity decide whether the efficiency of the new batteries is sufficient for their use in vehicles or not. The example of the synthesis of different carbon aerogels and their performance in lithium sulfur batteries shows that only a holistic development can lead to the goal.