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Free-standing supercapacitors from Kraft lignin nanofibers with remarkable volumetric energy density

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Abstract

We have discovered a very simple method to address the challenge associated with the low volumetric energy density of free-standing carbon nanofiber electrodes for supercapacitors by electrospinning Kraft lignin in the presence of an oxidizing salt (NaNO3) and subsequent carbonization in a reducing atmosphere. The presence of the oxidative salt decreases the diameter of the resulting carbon nanofibers doubling their packing density from 0.51 to 1.03 mg cm−2 and hence doubling the volumetric energy density. At the same time, the oxidative NaNO3 salt eletrospun and carbonized together with lignin dissolved in NaOH acts as a template to increase the microporosity, thus contributing to a good gravimetric energy density. By simply adjusting the process parameters (amount of oxidizing/reducing agent), the gravimetric and volumetric energy density of the resulting lignin free-standing carbon nanofiber electrodes can be carefully tailored to fit specific power to energy demands. The areal capacitance increased from 147 mF cm−2 in the absence of NaNO3 to 350 mF cm−2 with NaNO3 translating into a volumetric energy density increase from 949 μW h cm−3 without NaNO3 to 2245 μW h cm−3 with NaNO3. Meanwhile, the gravimetric capacitance also increased from 151 F g−1 without to 192 F g−1 with NaNO3.

Graphical abstract: Free-standing supercapacitors from Kraft lignin nanofibers with remarkable volumetric energy density

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Nov 2018, accepted on 12 Jan 2019 and first published on 14 Jan 2019


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C8SC04936J
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2019, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Free-standing supercapacitors from Kraft lignin nanofibers with remarkable volumetric energy density

    P. Schlee, S. Herou, R. Jervis, P. R. Shearing, D. J. L. Brett, D. Baker, O. Hosseinaei, P. Tomani, M. M. Murshed, Y. Li, M. J. Mostazo-López, D. Cazorla-Amorós, A. B. Jorge Sobrido and M. Titirici, Chem. Sci., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8SC04936J

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