Author(s): Rajbhandari R, Shrestha LK, Pokharel BP, Pradhananga RR
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Abstract Series of activated carbons (ACs) have been prepared from Lapsi (Choerospondias axillaris) seed powder (LSP) by chemical activation with zinc chloride (ZnCI2) and the effects of ZnCl2 impregnation ratio, carbonization time, and precursor sources on the structure and properties of ACs have been systematically investigated. Carbonization was carried out at 400 degrees C and the ratio of LSP and ZnCI2 was varied from LSP:ZnCl2 = 1:0.25 (AC-0.25), 1:0.50 (AC-0.50) 1:1 (AC-1), 1:2 (AC-2), and 1:4 (AC-4). The ACs were characterized by Fourier transform-infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, Raman scattering, X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Surface properties (effective surface areas, pore volumes, and pore size distributions) were studied by nitrogen adsorption-desorption measurements. The electrochemical and vapor sensing properties were investigated by cyclic voltammetry, and quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) method, respectively. All the ACs are amorphous materials containing oxygenated surface functional groups and having nanoporous (microporous and mesoporous) structures. We found that surface properties depend on the LSP:ZnCI2 ratio, carbonization time, and also on the precursor type. The effective surface area increased significantly with increasing LSP:ZnCI2 ratio from 1:0.25 to 1:0.5 and then remain apparently constant. However, total pore volume increased continuously with ZnCI2 ratio. Increase in the carbonization time above 4 h decreased both the surface area and pore volume. ACs prepared from bamboo and coconut shell showed better surface properties compared to AC prepared from sugarcane; surface area and pore volume of the former systems are nearly double of the later system. AC derived from LSP (AC-4) showed excellent electrochemical performance giving specific capacitance value of 328 F/g in 1 M H2SO4 solution demonstrating the potential use of this material for supercapacitor electrodes. Our ACs showed good capability of molecule sensing of toxic solvent vapors such as carbon tetrachloride and pyridine.
This article was published in J Nanosci Nanotechnol
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation