Catalytic oxidation of carbon/carbon composite materials in the presence of potassium and calcium acetates

Xianxian Wu, Ljubisa R. Radovic

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52 Citations (SciVal)


The catalytic effects of potassium acetate (KAC) and calcium acetate (CaAC) on the oxidation of carbon/carbon composites (C/C composites) used in aircraft brake system have been characterized. Potassium exhibited a very strong catalytic effect on the oxidation of the selected carbon samples, including C/C composite blocks impregnated with aqueous KAC solution and graphite powder physically mixed with KAC powder. The initial amount of catalyst loading and the pre-treatment in inert gas were found to affect its catalytic effectiveness. Impregnated calcium was also a good catalyst for the oxidation of C/C composites, but its effectiveness is much lower than that of potassium and is much less sensitive to catalyst loading amount and pre-treatment. Calcium acetate physically mixed with graphite powder only showed a slight catalytic effect. The experimental results suggested that the interfacial contact between catalyst and carbon is the key factor determining catalytic effectiveness, in agreement with previous studies using porous carbon materials. Due to its unique wetting ability and mobility on the carbon surface, potassium can form and maintain such contact with carbon and is, therefore, more effective in the C-O2 reaction than calcium. The formation and development of such contact, which can also be affected by catalyst loading and pre-treatment process, can explain well the influence of these experimental conditions on the catalytic effect of potassium. The decreasing trend of reactivity with increasing burn-off in calcium-catalyzed oxidation is a result of interfacial contact loss because calcium does not have the necessary mobility to maintain such contact during reaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-344
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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