Theoretical description of carbon felt electrical properties affected by compression

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Electro-conductive carbon felt (CF) material is composed by bonding together different lengths of carbon filaments resulting in a porous structure with a significant internal surface that facilitates enhanced electrochemical reactions. Owing to its excellent electrical properties, CF is found in numerous electrochemical applications, such as electrodes in redox flow batteries, fuel cells, and electrochemical desalination apparatus. CF electro-conductivity mostly arises from the close contact between the surface of two electrodes and the long carbon fibers located between them. Electrical conductivity can be improved by a moderate pressing of the CF between conducting electrodes. There exist large amounts of experimental data regarding CF electro-conductivity. However, there is a lack of analytical theoretical models explaining the CF electrical characteristics and the effects of compression. Moreover, CF electrodes in electrochemical cells are immersed in different electrolytes that affect the interconnections of fibers and their contacts with electrodes, which in turn influence conductivity. In this paper, we investigated both the role of CF compression, as well as the impact of electrolyte characteristics on electro-conductivity. The article presents results of measurements, mathematical analysis of CF electrical properties, and a theoretical analytical explanation of the CF electrical conductivity which was done by a stochastic description of carbon filaments disposition inside a CF frame.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4030
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • Carbon felt
  • Electrical conductivity
  • Theoretical model


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