Biomass-derived carbon: synthesis and applications in energy storage and conversion
The explosive growth of energy consumption demands highly efficient energy conversion and storage devices, whose innovation greatly depends on the development of advanced electrode materials and catalysts. Among those advanced materials explored, carbon materials have drawn much attention due to their excellent properties, such as high specific surface area and tunable porous structures. Challenges also come from global warming and environmental pollution, which leads to the requirement of sustainable carbon-rich precursors for carbon materials. Hence, the use of biomass for carbon materials features the concepts of green chemistry. This review summarizes the most advanced progress in biomass-derived carbons for use in fuel cells, electrocatalytic water splitting devices, supercapacitors and lithium-ion batteries. Several synthetic strategies for synthesizing biomass-derived carbons, including direct pyrolysis, hydrothermal carbonization, and ionothermal carbonization, have been reviewed, and the corresponding formation mechanisms and prospects are also discussed. This provides fundamental insight and offers important guidelines for the future design of biomass-derived carbons in specific energy applications.