Carbon in its single entity and various forms has been used in technology and human life for many centuries. Since prehistoric times, carbon-based materials such as graphite, charcoal and carbon black have been used as writing and drawing materials. In the past two and a half decades or so, conjugated carbon nanomaterials, especially carbon nanotubes, fullerenes, activated carbon and graphite have been used as energy materials due to their exclusive properties. Due to their outstanding chemical, mechanical, electrical and thermal properties, carbon nanostructures have recently found application in many diverse areas; including drug delivery, electronics, composite materials, sensors, field emission devices, energy storage and conversion, etc. Following the global energy outlook, it is forecasted that the world energy demand will double by 2050. This calls for a new and efficient means to double the energy supply in order to meet the challenges that forge ahead. Carbon nanomaterials are believed to be appropriate and promising (when used as energy materials) to cushion the threat. Consequently, the amazing properties of these materials and greatest potentials towards greener and environment friendly synthesis methods and industrial scale production of carbon nanostructured materials is undoubtedly necessary and can therefore be glimpsed as the focal point of many researchers in science and technology in the 21st century. This is based on the incredible future that lies ahead with these smart carbon-based materials. This review is determined to give a synopsis of new advances towards their synthesis, properties, and some applications as reported in the existing literatures.
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