Carbon Nanotubes/​Nanofibers Composites from Cellulose as Electrodes for Sustainable Energy Devices

Research paper in the pro­ceed­ings of Annu­al World Con­fer­ence on Car­bon (Car­bon 2014): Car­bon Mate­ri­als for Ubiq­ui­tous and Sus­tain­able Life, Jeju, Korea, 27 June–4 July, 2014.

Car­bon nanofibers (CNF) with well inter­con­nect­ed pores, mechan­i­cal and elec­tro­chem­i­cal sta­bil­i­ty are prospec­tive elec­trode mate­ri­als for var­i­ous ener­gy devices.They sus­tain a sub­stan­tial uptake of elec­trolyte solu­tion and enable high ion con­duc­tiv­i­ty; their free­stand­ing nature allows using them with­out poly­mer­ic binder.CNF are par­tic­u­larly­suit­able for super­ca­pac­i­tors with high pow­er den­si­ty and long life-cycle per­for­mance that can be applied in sus­tain­able elec­tricve­hi­cles. As a demand on car­bon nanos­truc­tures con­tin­ues to grow, renew­able resources should be account­ed as an alter­na­tive to the cur­rent­ly most used CNF pre­cur­sors: coal tar pitch and syn­thet­ic poly­mers. The biopoly­mer cel­lu­lose is a vast source for the syn­the­sis of CNF. How­ev­er, the main draw­backs of the CNF mate­r­i­al are its rel­a­tive­ly low spe­cif­ic sur­face area and elec­tri­cal con­duc­tiv­i­ty, which leads to low val­ues of spe­cif­ic capac­i­tance. In this work, cel­lu­lose-based CNF with high mechan­i­cal strength and elec­tro­chem­i­cal sta­bil­i­ty were nitro­gen-doped and func­tion­al­ized with car­bon nan­otubes (CNT) via two dif­fer­ent meth­ods in order to get enhanced elec­trode mate­ri­als for supercapacitors.

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