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The Impact of Surface Chemistry on Bio-derived Carbon Performance as Supercapacitor Electrodes

Abstract

In this study, we demonstrate that highly functionalized and porous carbons can be derived from palm-leaf waste using the template-free facile synthesis process. The derived carbons have high content of nitrogen dopant, high surface area, and various defects. Moreover, these carbons exhibit a high electrical conductivity (107 S m−1). Thanks to the high content of edge N (64.3%) and highly microporous nature (82% of microspores), these biomass-derived carbons show promising performance when used as supercapacitor electrodes. To be specific, these carbonaceous materials show a specific capacitance as high as 197 and 135 F g−1 at 2 and 20 A g−1 in three-electrode configuration, respectively. Furthermore, the symmetrical cells using palm-leaf-derived carbon show an energy density of 8.4 Wh Kg−1 at a power density of 0.64 kW Kg−1, with high cycling life stability (∼8% loss after 10,000 continuous charge–discharge cycles at 20 A g−1). Interestingly, as the power density increases from 4.4 kW kg−1 to 36.8 kW kg−1, the energy density drops slowly from 8.4 Wh kg−1 to 3.4 Wh kg−1. Getting such extremely high power density without significant loss of energy density indicates that these palm-leaf-derived carbons have excellent electrode performance as supercapacitor electrodes.

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Correspondence to Chuan Xia.

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Alshareef, N.H., Whitehair, D. & Xia, C. The Impact of Surface Chemistry on Bio-derived Carbon Performance as Supercapacitor Electrodes. Journal of Elec Materi 46, 1628–1636 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11664-016-5206-x

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Keywords

  • Palm-leaf-derived carbon
  • supercapacitor
  • energy storage
  • high energy density