Biomass-derived Activated Carbon Scaffolds For Electrochemical Energy Storage | 92502
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With increasing energy and environment concerns, how to efficiently convert and store energy has become a critical topic.
Electrochemical energy storage devices, such as supercapacitors and batteries, have been proven to be the most effective energy
conversion and storage technologies for practical application. Supercapacitors and lithium-based batteries are particularly promising
because of their excellent power density and energy density. However, further development of these energy storage devices is hindered
by their poor electrode performance. The carbon materials in supercapacitors and batteries, such as graphite, activated carbons and
various nanostructured carbon materials (ordered porous carbon, CNT, graphene etc.), are often derived from nonrenewable resources
under relatively harsh environments. Naturally abundant biomass with hierarchically porous architecture is a green, alternative
carbon source with many desired properties for supercapacitors and lithium-based batteries. Recently, we converted cotton, banana
peel, and recycled paper into highly porous, conductive activated carbon scaffolds for advanced energy storage applications via
a low-cost and high throughput manufacturing process. The activated carbon scaffolds were further coated with active materials
such as NiCo2O4, NiO, Co-Al layered double hydroxides (Co-Al LDHs), Ni2S, sulfur nanoparticles, and graphene to enhance their
electrochemical properties. The biomass-derived activated carbon materials are effective in improving supercapacitor???s energy density
and in blocking the dissolution of reaction intermediates in lithium sulfur batteries. Especially, the biomass-derived carbons provide
scaffolds for hosting sulfur in lithium sulfur batteries to manipulate the ???shuttle effects??? of polysulfides and improve the utilization
of sulfur. In particular, the activated carbon textiles (derived from cotton textiles) are flexible and conductive, and an ideal substrate
for constructing flexible supercapacitors, batteries, and self-powered flexible solar cell/supercapacitor (or battery) systems. Using
biomasses is definitely the right track towards making renewable carbon materials for future energy storage devices.
1. Gao Z, Bumgardner C, Song N, Zhang Y, Li J, Li X (2016) Cotton-textile-enabled flexible self-sustaining power packs via
roll-to-roll fabrication. Nature communications 7: 11586.
2. Gao Z, Song N, Zhang Y, Li X (2015) Cotton Textile enabled, flexible lithium-ion batteries with enhanced capacity and
extended Lifespan. Nano letters 15: 8194???8203.
3. Bao L, Li X (2012) Towards textile energy-storage from cotton T-shirts. Advanced materials 24: 3246-3252.
4. Zhang Y. Gao Z, Li X (2017) Capillarity composited recycled paper/graphene scaffold for lithium-sulfur batteries with
enhanced capacity and extended lifespan. Small 13: 1701927.
5. Zhang Y, Gao Z, Song N, Li X (2016) High-performance supercapacitors and batteries derived from activated banana-peel
with porous structures. Electrochimica acta 222: 1257???1266.
Xiaodong Li is a Rolls-Royce Commonwealth Professor at the University of Virginia with expertise and interests including nanomaterial-enabled energy systems, biological and bio-inspired materials and devices, additive manufacturing, smart manufacturing, biomechanics, micro/nanomechanics, surface engineering, and tribology. His stature in the field of his expertise includes over 230 peerreviewed journal articles in prestigious journals such as Science, Nature Communications, Advanced Materials, and Advanced Energy Materials; over 12,000 citations with H-index of 54; TMS MPMD Distinguished Scientist/Engineer Award (2015), Professional Engineering Publisher's PE Prize (2008); over 80 invited plenary lectures/keynotes/talks at international conferences/workshops; Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME); and Fellow of the Society of Experimental Mechanics (SEM). His breakthrough work has been featured by over 1,000 media outlets worldwide including BBC, Discovery News, Science Daily, and MSNBC. His innovation on cotton textile based composites was recently selected by New York Times – Year in Ideas for Year 2010.