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Issue 45, 2009
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Naturally inspired nitrogen doped porous carbon

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Prawn shells, an abundant marine chitin (poly-β(1→4)-N-acetyl-D-glucosamine) biomass source and high volume food waste, have successfully been converted into nitrogen doped carbon (>5% N) in a simple three step sustainable manner to yield a highly textured, high surface area (SBET > 300 m2g−1) and high pore volume (Vpore > 0.6 cm3g−1) material. The preformed natural inorganic (CaCO3)/organic (chitin) shell composite provides the precursor structure, which is simply converted via hydrothermal carbonisation to yield nitrogen rich carbon material templated by the mineral scaffold. The resulting carbonaceous composite may be purified of the inorganic component by washing with acetic acid, leading to enhanced mesoporous properties. This approach renders materials with interesting nanoscale morphology and an accessible interconnected pore structure (pore diameter > 10 nm), presenting desirable characteristics directly applicable in future technological applications, including biosensors, batteries, fuel cells, and supercapacitors.

Graphical abstract: Naturally inspired nitrogen doped porous carbon

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The article was received on 11 Jun 2009, accepted on 03 Sep 2009 and first published on 23 Sep 2009

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B911528E
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2009,19, 8645-8650
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    Naturally inspired nitrogen doped porous carbon

    R. J. White, M. Antonietti and M. Titirici, J. Mater. Chem., 2009, 19, 8645
    DOI: 10.1039/B911528E

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