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Biomass-derived hierarchical porous carbons: boosting the energy density of supercapacitors via an ionothermal approach

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Abstract

High mass energy density coupled with high power density is highly desired for electrical double-layer capacitors. Usually the capacitive performance is improved by optimizing the pore size and volume distribution. Herein, the authors report an efficient approach to optimize the porous structure through a facile ionothermal carbonization method. A series of hierarchical porous carbons with unique sub-micrometer sized morphology, high surface area and abundant mesopores (e.g. SBET = 2532 m2 g−1 and Vmeso = 1.077 cm3 g−1) have been synthesized, using Jujun grass as a nitrogen-containing precursor. The ionic liquid acts not only as a reaction medium for the conversion of biomass to carbon but also as a porogenic agent for inducing mesoporosity. The results indicate that the ionothermal method can balance the micro- and mesoporosity of the optimized porous carbon, making it one of the competent alternatives to the state-of-the-art electrodes for ultra-high energy density supercapacitors. The optimized ionothermal carbon (ITC-JG-900) shows an impressively high specific capacitance of 336 F g−1 at 1 A g−1 in 6 M KOH, and even retained a capacitance of 222 F g−1 at 10 A g−1, which is 66% of the initial capacitance. The maximum energy density of ITC-JG-900 as a supercapacitor is found to be over 72.7 W h kg−1 when the power density is 1204 W kg−1, which is higher than those of most of the equivalent benchmarks tested in aqueous electrolytes.

Graphical abstract: Biomass-derived hierarchical porous carbons: boosting the energy density of supercapacitors via an ionothermal approach

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Apr 2017, accepted on 18 May 2017 and first published on 19 May 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA03639F
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Advance Article
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    Biomass-derived hierarchical porous carbons: boosting the energy density of supercapacitors via an ionothermal approach

    Y. Liu, B. Huang, X. Lin and Z. Xie, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7TA03639F

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