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Preparation of petroleum-based binder pitch for manufacturing thermally conductive carbon molded body and comparison with commercial coal-based binder pitch


In the present study, carbon molded bodies were prepared by using graphite/coke fillers and petroleum-based binder pitch with various softening points, and the thermal properties of the prepared carbon molded bodies were investigated. The ratio of a binder affects the molded body preparation: no molded body was prepared at a low binder pitch content, and swelling occurred during the thermal treatment at a high binder pitch content. The binder pitch thermal treatment yield was the highest at 41 wt% at the softening point of 150 °C and the lowest at 23 wt% at the softening point of 78 °C. A significant mass reduction was found in the range of 150 to 300 °C in the petroleum-based binder pitch, and in the range of 300 to 475 °C in the coal-based binder pitch. The molecular weight of the binder pitch was analyzed through the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) method. The molecular weight ratio within the interval showing the highest binder pitch molecular weight (178 to 712 m/z) was the highest at 66.4% in the coal-based binder pitch (softening point 115 °C) and the lowest at 46.0% in the petroleum-based binder pitch (softening point 116 °C). When the petroleum-based binder pitch was applied, as the softening point was increased, the voids decreased and thus the thermal conductivity increased. The highest thermal conductivity was 99.5 W/mK for the carbon molded bodies prepared using the coal-based binder pitch and 102.8 W/mK for those prepared by using the petroleum-based binder pitch. The results showed that the thermal properties were similar between the coal-based binder pitch (softening point 115 °C) and the petroleum-based binder pitch (softening point 150 °C).

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This work was supported by the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) grant funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE) of the Republic of Korea (No. 10077710, Development of 600 W/mk grade exothermal material & component preparation by petroleum based pitch).

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Correspondence to Ji Sun Im or Young-Seak Lee.

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Cho, J.H., Im, J.S., Kim, M.I. et al. Preparation of petroleum-based binder pitch for manufacturing thermally conductive carbon molded body and comparison with commercial coal-based binder pitch. Carbon Lett. 30, 373–379 (2020).

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  • Pitch
  • Softening point
  • Graphite block
  • Thermal conductivity