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Issue 15, 2020
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Heavy oil-derived carbon for energy storage applications

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In the past decade, renewable energy has been a hot pursuit in scientific and industrial communities because of the fast depletion of fossil fuels and increasing concern about the environment. To efficiently utilize and largely deploy the intermittent renewable energy, high-performance electrochemical energy storage devices are desperately needed. As a result, tremendous effort has been devoted to this field with remarkable achievements. Despite this progress, fossil fuels, like petroleum, will still play an indispensable role in our energy structure in the foreseeable future. Besides, petroleum is becoming increasingly heavier and the heavy oil results in more and more low-value by-products such as asphalt and petroleum coke during the oil refinery processes. In this context, how to harmonize the deployment of renewable energy and value-added utilization of these abundant and low-cost by-products from the petroleum industry represents a significant challenge. Considering their high carbon content and versatile tunability, one viable solution may be the controllable conversion of asphalt and/or petroleum coke into functional carbon materials for energy storage applications. In this article, we summarize the recent progress of carbon materials derived from heavy oil by-products and their utilization as electrode materials for energy storage devices. At first, we give a brief introduction to the features and advantages of heavy oil by-products compared to biomass and polymers as the precursors of carbon materials. Then, the typical methods of constructing functional carbon materials from these by-products are discussed in detail. After that, their performance as electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries, sodium-ion batteries, and supercapacitors is elaborately presented. Finally, the possible challenges and future perspectives are analyzed based on our knowledge to end this review.

Graphical abstract: Heavy oil-derived carbon for energy storage applications

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Article information

03 Jan 2020
13 Mar 2020
First published
14 Mar 2020

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2020,8, 7066-7082
Article type
Review Article

Heavy oil-derived carbon for energy storage applications

H. Hu and M. Wu, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2020, 8, 7066
DOI: 10.1039/D0TA00095G

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