Silicon carbide can be synthesized by a gas-solid reaction between silicon vapor and carbon. After such reaction, the resultant silicon carbide preserved the morphology of starting carbon. Using this process, silicon carbide powder can be synthesized from a powder mixture of Si and carbon black in argon atmosphere. Furthermore, bulk porous silicon carbide can also be synthesized from plant-derived bio-carbon. These bulk porous silicon carbides can be applied as reinforcing skeletons of ceramic-metal composites, or they can be used as free-standing catalyst supports.
In this presentation, I will present our work on the synthesizing of porous silicon carbide from bamboo-derived, rattan-derived and vegetable sponge-derived bio-carbon. The synthesizing parameters and the microstructures will be correlated. I will also describe the results of our attempts in fabricating Al-SiC, Cu-SiC composites using these bulk porous SiC and the catalytic performance of Ni catalysts supported on vegetable sponge-derived SiC.