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Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 14, pp 14693–14702 | Cite as

Ball-milled biochar for alternative carbon electrode

  • Honghong Lyu
  • Zebin YuEmail author
  • Bin Gao
  • Feng He
  • Jun Huang
  • Jingchun TangEmail author
  • Boxiong Shen
Short Research and Discussion Article
  • 197 Downloads

Abstract

Ball-milled biochars (BM-biochars) were produced through ball milling of pristine biochars derived from different biomass at three pyrolysis temperatures (300, 450, and 600 °C). The results of scanning electron microscopic (SEM), surface area, hydrodynamic diameter test, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) revealed that BM-biochars had smaller particle size (140–250 nm compared to 0.5–1 mm for unmilled biochar), greater stability, and more oxygen-containing functional groups (2.2–4.4 mmol/g compared to 0.8–2.9 for unmilled biochar) than the pristine biochars. With these changes, all the BM-biochar-modified glassy carbon electrodes (BM-biochar/GCEs) exhibited prominent electrochemical properties (e.g., ΔEp of 119–254 mV compared to 850 mV for bare GCE). Cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) show that ball-milled 600 °C biochar/GCE (BMBB600/GCE and BMBG600/GCE) had the smallest peak-to-peak separation (ΔEp = 119 and 132 mV, respectively), series resistance (RS = 88.7 and 89.5 Ω, respectively), and charge transfer resistance (RCT = 1224 and 1382 Ω, respectively), implying its best electrocatalytic activity for the reduction of Fe(CN)63−. It is supposed that the special structure (i.e., internal surface area, pore volume, oxygen-containing functional groups, and graphitic structure) facilitates the electron transfer and reduces interface resistance. Economic cost of BM-biochar/GCE was 1.97 × 10−7 USD/cm2, much lower than that of a “low-cost platinum electrode” (0.03 USD/cm2). The results indicate potential application of the novel BM-biochar for low cost and high efficient electrodes.

Graphical abstract

Keywords

Ball-milled biochar Electrode Surface area Oxygen-containing functional groups Mechanisms 

Notes

Funding information

This work was partially supported by the Key Laboratory of Original Agro-Environmental Pollution Prevention and Control, Ministry of Agriculture/Tianjin Key Laboratory of Agro-environment and Safe-product [18nybcdhj-5 and 18nybcdhj-1], the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41807363), Guangxi Natural Science Foundation (Nos.AD17195058), the Key Research and Development Project of the Ministry of Science and Technology (2018YFB0605101), and the Key Project Natural Science Foundation of Tianjin (18JCZDJC39800).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_4899_MOESM1_ESM.docx (5.8 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 5916 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Original Agro-Environmental Pollution Prevention and Control, Ministry of Agriculture/Tianjin Key Laboratory of Agro-environment and Safe-product, School of Energy and Environmental EngineeringHebei University of TechnologyTianjinChina
  2. 2.School of Resources, Environment and MaterialsGuangxi UniversityNanningChina
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural and Biological EngineeringUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  4. 4.College of EnvironmentZhejiang University of TechnologyHangzhouChina
  5. 5.Hualan Design and Consulting Group Co. Ltd.NanningChina
  6. 6.College of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureGuangxi UniversityNanningChina
  7. 7.Key Laboratory of Pollution Processes and Environmental Criteria (Ministry of Education), Tianjin Engineering Center of Environmental Diagnosis and Contamination Remediation, College of Environmental Science and EngineeringNankai UniversityTianjinChina

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