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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Activated carbons with extremely high surface area produced from cones, bark and wood using the same procedure

Li, Gui; Iakunkov, Artem; Boulanger, Nicolas; Lazar, Oana Andreea; Enachescu, Marius; Grimm, Alejandro; Talyzin, Alexandr V.


Activated carbons have been previously produced from a huge variety of biomaterials often reporting advantages of using certain precursors. Here we used pine cones, spruce cones, larch cones and a pine bark/wood chip mixture to produce activated carbons in order to verify the influence of the precursor on properties of the final materials. The biochars were converted into activated carbons with extremely high BET surface area up to similar to 3500 m(2) g(-1) (among the highest reported) using identical carbonization and KOH activation procedures. The activated carbons produced from all precursors demonstrated similar specific surface area (SSA), pore size distribution and performance to electrodes in supercapacitors. Activated carbons produced from wood waste appeared to be also very similar to "activated graphene" prepared by the same KOH procedure. Hydrogen sorption of AC follows expected uptake vs. SSA trends and energy storage parameters of supercapacitor electrodes prepared from AC are very similar for all tested precursors. It can be concluded that the type of precursor (biomaterial or reduced graphene oxide) has smaller importance for producing high surface area activated carbons compared to details of carbonization and activation. Nearly all kinds of wood waste provided by the forest industry can possibly be converted into high quality AC suitable for preparation of electrode materials.

Published in

RSC Advances
2023, Volume: 13, number: 21, pages: 14543-14553