Structural Characterization of Carbons Derived from Methane Pyrolysis

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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The world is currently facing the enormous task of massively reducing the carbon dioxide emissions for energy production within the next decades. Switching to hydrogen as an energy carrier is a possible approach for a sustainable and climate-neutral energy production. Hydrogen may be produced without carbon dioxide emissions by means of methane pyrolysis which yields large quantities of carbon as a complementary product. To allow a large-scale application of methane pyrolysis, this carbon must be put to use. In this thesis, carbons derived from three different laboratory-scaled methane pyrolysis processes were investigated using advanced characterization techniques including X-ray diffraction, small-angle X-ray scattering, gas sorption analysis, thermogravimetric analysis, and Raman spectroscopy. The carbon phase derived from a liquid metal process utilizing a catalyst of Cu and Ni was reported to be turbostratic carbon. The plasma process yielded a mixture of graphite and turbostratic carbon with a BET area of up to 75.8 m²/g. Graphite was reported from a fixed bed process using reduced iron ore as a catalyst. Contrary to multiple literature studies no other allotropic forms of carbons were detected, such as graphene, carbon nanotubes or carbon fibers. All carbons contained significant amounts of impurities in a range between 31.4 wt% and 89.7 wt%. Carbon purity must be increased in future studies for the carbon product to be marketable. Many potential high-tech applications of carbon require a nanoporous structure combined with a large specific surface area. This may be achieved in a subsequent activation step and should be investigated in future research.
Translated title of the contributionStrukturcharakterisierung von Kohlenstoffen aus der Methanpyrolyse
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Montanuniversität
  • Paris, Oskar, Supervisor (internal)
  • Mitterer, Christian, Co-Supervisor (internal)
  • Kostoglou, Nikolaos, Co-Supervisor (internal)
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

embargoed until null


  • methane pyrolysis
  • thermal decomposition of methane
  • carbon characterization
  • metal bath
  • plasma
  • fixed bed

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