CSIRO- Energy Technology

Project Title:  Determining the Porosity of Energy Materials

Project partner: CSIRO – Energy Technology

Brief outline:  
The porosity and distribution of pores within carbonaceous materials including coals and chars are key attributes in understanding and parameterising the performance of these important materials in energy systems. However, most experiment techniques for determining these are limited and applicable only to a small size range of accessible pores. CSIRO has conducted preliminary experiments to determine the applicability of Small Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS) techniques to the determination of the size, shape and distribution of pores within these materials. Determination of these properties relies on fitting models to the data obtained.

The most commonly used approach involves fitting a combination of mass and surface fractals, and whilst it is successful at producing realistic distributions, it is subtle and intricate in ways that make it applicable only to a defined range of conditions and fitting inputs.

The aim of this project is to develop an alternative curve fitting algorithm for sub Porod non smooth (potentially fractal) porosity. This will allow industry and the research community to more fully appreciate the assumptions that underpin the models and the requirements for obtaining a good fit as well as develop a more comprehensive understanding of the influence that the factors of pore shape, distribution and size contribute to the SAXS pattern observed.