Short Communication

Colloid and Polymer Science

, Volume 290, Issue 15, pp 1567-1573

Carbon dioxide-assisted fabrication of highly uniform submicron-sized colloidal carbon spheres via hydrothermal carbonization using soft drink

  • Gun-hee MoonAffiliated withChemicals and Materials Science Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)Department of Chemical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)
  • , Yongsoon ShinAffiliated withChemicals and Materials Science Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) Email author 
  • , Bruce W. AreyAffiliated withChemicals and Materials Science Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
  • , Chongmin WangAffiliated withChemicals and Materials Science Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
  • , Gregory J. ExarhosAffiliated withChemicals and Materials Science Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
  • , Wonyong ChoiAffiliated withDepartment of Chemical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) Email author 
  • , Jun LiuAffiliated withChemicals and Materials Science Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)

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Abstract

An eco-friendly and economical method for the formation of highly uniform-sized carbon spheres by hydrothermal dehydration/condensation of a commercial carbonated beverage at 200 °C is reported. Until now, the effect of an extra pressure which is built up by dissolved CO2 on the generation of carbon spheres under hydrothermal condition less than 250 °C hasn’t been demonstrated yet. In general, a complicated reactor is required to put overpressure on the autoclave vessel by adding inert gases, whereas the manipulation of a carbonated beverage including fructose and glucose molecules as precursors is favorable to design a simple experimental set-up and to investigate the effect of extra pressure on the growth of carbon spheres under mild hydrothermal condition. Herein, CO2 dissolved in the beverage accelerates the dehydration kinetics of the dissolved sugar molecules leading to production of homogeneous carbon spheres having a diameter less than 850 nm. In addition, the rough surface of these carbon spheres likely results from continuous Ostwald ripening of constituent microscopic carbon-containing spheres that are formed by subsequent polymerization of intermediate hydroxymethylfurfural molecules.

Keywords

Carbon spheres Hydrothermal carbonization Carbonated beverage Carbon dioxide Pressure