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C, Volume 4, Issue 3 (September 2018)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Activated Carbons Derived from High-Temperature Pyrolysis of Lignocellulosic Biomass
Received: 17 August 2018 / Revised: 6 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract
Biomass pyrolysis to produce biofuel and hydrogen yields large amounts of charred byproducts with low commercial value. A study was conducted to evaluate their potential for being converted into higher value activated carbons by a low-cost process. Six chars derived from various lignocellulosic
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Biomass pyrolysis to produce biofuel and hydrogen yields large amounts of charred byproducts with low commercial value. A study was conducted to evaluate their potential for being converted into higher value activated carbons by a low-cost process. Six chars derived from various lignocellulosic precursors were activated in CO2 at 800 °C to 30–35% weight loss, and their surface area and porosity were characterized by nitrogen adsorption at 77 K. It was found that, in similar activation conditions, the surface area of the activated carbons correlates with the activation energy of the oxidation reaction by CO2, which in turn varies inversely with the carbon yield after thermolysis in nitrogen at 1000 °C. Since lignin is the most thermally-stable component of lignocellulosic biomass, these results demonstrate, indirectly, that robust, lignin-rich vegetal precursors are to be preferred to produce higher quality activated carbons. The chars derived from white pine (pinus strobus) and chestnut oak (quercus prinus) were converted to activated carbons with the highest surface area (900–1100 m2/g) and largest mesopores volume (0.85–1.06 cm3/g). These activated carbons have properties similar to those of commercially-available activated carbons used successfully for removal of pollutants from aqueous solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbons from Biomasic Waste and Their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle A New Approach of Fabricating Graphene Nanoplates@Natural Rubber Latex Composite and Its Characteristics and Mechanical Properties
Received: 23 July 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 September 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
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Abstract
Graphene has been demonstrated to be one of the most promising candidates to use as filler to improve the electrical, thermal, chemical and mechanical properties of natural rubber due to exceptional high surface area, superior electrical and thermal conductivity, and remarkable gas impermeability
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Graphene has been demonstrated to be one of the most promising candidates to use as filler to improve the electrical, thermal, chemical and mechanical properties of natural rubber due to exceptional high surface area, superior electrical and thermal conductivity, and remarkable gas impermeability resistance. In this study, graphene nanoplates (GNPs) were mass-produced by a one-step chemical exfoliation of natural graphite and used as a filler for the fabrication of GNPs@natural rubber composite by a simple mixing method. The resultant GNPs/rubber composite was characterized by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and a rheometer. The prepared graphene nanoplates had a thickness of less than 10 nm and a lateral size of tens of microns. The GNPs@rubber composite revealed an exceptional improvement of abrasion loss up to seven to ten fold, along with an approximately 400%, 200% and 30% increment of elongation at break, tear strength and tensile strength, respectively. Other mechanical properties, such as hardness, compression set and rebound, as well as the effect of the GNPs loadings on the mechanical properties of the composite, were also investigated in detail. Full article
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Open AccessReview Graphene Nanoribbon as Potential On-Chip Interconnect Material—A Review
Received: 29 July 2018 / Revised: 15 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
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Abstract
In recent years, on-chip interconnects have been considered as one of the most challenging areas in ultra-large scale integration. In ultra-small feature size, the interconnect delay becomes more pronounced than the gate delay. The continuous scaling of interconnects introduces significant parasitic effects. The
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In recent years, on-chip interconnects have been considered as one of the most challenging areas in ultra-large scale integration. In ultra-small feature size, the interconnect delay becomes more pronounced than the gate delay. The continuous scaling of interconnects introduces significant parasitic effects. The resistivity of interconnects increases because of the grain boundary scattering and side wall scattering of electrons. An increased Joule heating and the low current carrying capability of interconnects in a nano-scale dimension make it unreliable for future technology. The devices resistivity and reliability have become more and more serious problems for choosing the best interconnect materials, like Cu, W, and others. Because of its remarkable electrical and its other properties, graphene becomes a reliable candidate for next-generation interconnects. Graphene is the lowest resistivity material with a high current density, large mean free path, and high electron mobility. For practical implementation, narrow width graphene sheet or graphene nanoribbon (GNR) is the most suitable interconnect material. However, the geometric structure changes the electrical property of GNR to a small extent compared to the ideal behavior of graphene film. In the current article, the structural and electrical properties of single and multilayer GNRs are discussed in detail. Also, the fabrication techniques are discussed so as to pattern the graphene nanoribbons for interconnect application and measurement. A circuit modeling of the resistive-inductive-capacitive distributed network for multilayer GNR interconnects is incorporated in the article, and the corresponding simulated results are compared with the measured data. The performance of GNR interconnects is discussed from the view of the resistivity, resistive-capacitive delay, energy delay product, crosstalk effect, stability analysis, and so on. The performance of GNR interconnects is well compared with the conventional interconnects, like Cu, and other futuristic potential materials, like carbon nanotube and doped GNRs, for different technology nodes of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Catalytic Performances of Au–Pt Nanoparticles on Phosphorous Functionalized Carbon Nanofibers towards HMF Oxidation
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 28 August 2018
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Abstract
Herein, we reported the utilization of pre-formed Au–Pt nanoparticles deposited on phosphorus functionalized carbons as effective catalysts for the oxidation of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) to furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA). Au–Pt nanoparticles have been prepared by a two-step methodology using polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as protective agent
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Herein, we reported the utilization of pre-formed Au–Pt nanoparticles deposited on phosphorus functionalized carbons as effective catalysts for the oxidation of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) to furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA). Au–Pt nanoparticles have been prepared by a two-step methodology using polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as protective agent and a combination of NaBH4 and H2 as reducing agents. Three carbon nanofibers (CNFs) with different graphitization degrees have been functionalized through treatment with an H3PO4–HNO3 mixture at 150 °C, in order to incorporate P groups on carbon surface. Surface and structural properties of the synthesized functionalized materials have been investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and Raman spectroscopy. The structural and surface properties of carbon nanofibers determine the amount of P-functionalities, which is a key parameter affecting the catalytic performances of Au–Pt. Indeed, the highest activity and stability has been achieved for Au–Pt deposited on the sample, which showed the largest amount of P-groups on the surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon-Based Catalyst)
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Open AccessArticle Operando DRIFTS-MS Study of WGS and rWGS Reaction on Biochar-Based Pt Catalysts: The Promotional Effect of Na
Received: 17 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 15 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
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Abstract
Biochar-based Pt catalysts, unpromoted and Na-promoted, were prepared by an incipient wetness impregnation method and characterised by Inductively coupled plasma mass spoectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis, X-ray diffraction, N2 adsorption and transmission, and scanning electron microscopy. It was demonstrated that a sodium promoter modifies
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Biochar-based Pt catalysts, unpromoted and Na-promoted, were prepared by an incipient wetness impregnation method and characterised by Inductively coupled plasma mass spoectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis, X-ray diffraction, N2 adsorption and transmission, and scanning electron microscopy. It was demonstrated that a sodium promoter modifies the acid-base properties of the support, altering the Pt-support interaction. An operando Diffuse reflectance infrared fourier transform spectroscopy-mass spectrometry (DRIFTS-MS) study was performed to gain insights into the reaction pathways and the mechanism of the Water-Gass-Shift (WGS) and the Reverse Water-Gass-Shift (rWGS) reactions. It was demonstrated that the addition of Na enhances the catalytic performance due to the changes induced by the alkali in the electronic structure of the Pt active sites. This effect favours the activation of H2O molecules during the WGS reaction and the dissociation of CO2 during the rWGS reaction, although it may also favour the consecutive CO methanation pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon-Based Catalyst)
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Open AccessArticle Improving Spinnability of Hyper-Coal Derived Spinnable Pitch through the Hydrogenation with 1,2,3,4-Tetrahydroquinoline
Received: 20 July 2018 / Revised: 16 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 19 August 2018
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Abstract
The proper hydrogenation of Hyper-coal (HPC) using 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroquinoline (THQ) was able to decrease the oxygen content and adjust the molecular structure of HPC for preparing the spinnable pitch with high softening point (SP). The spinnable pitch prepared from the THQ-soluble (QS) fraction of
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The proper hydrogenation of Hyper-coal (HPC) using 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroquinoline (THQ) was able to decrease the oxygen content and adjust the molecular structure of HPC for preparing the spinnable pitch with high softening point (SP). The spinnable pitch prepared from the THQ-soluble (QS) fraction of HPC as a precursor consisted of more naphthenic carbon groups than that prepared from the 1-methylnaphthalene (1-MN) soluble (MNS) fraction of HPC. The HPC-QS derived spinnable pitch showed excellent spinning performance even though the SP of 260 °C, and the tensile strength of the resultant carbon fiber was increased to 1350 MPa with a diameter around 8 µm under the only carbonization temperature of at 800 °C for 5 min. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Photoelectrochemical Response of WO3/Nanoporous Carbon Anodes for Photocatalytic Water Oxidation
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 27 July 2018 / Accepted: 1 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
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Abstract
This work demonstrates the ability of nanoporous carbons to boost the photoelectrochemical activity of hexagonal and monoclinic WO3 towards water oxidation under irradiation. The impact of the carbonaceous phase was strongly dependent on the crystalline structure and morphology of the semiconductor, substantially
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This work demonstrates the ability of nanoporous carbons to boost the photoelectrochemical activity of hexagonal and monoclinic WO3 towards water oxidation under irradiation. The impact of the carbonaceous phase was strongly dependent on the crystalline structure and morphology of the semiconductor, substantially increasing the activity of WO3 rods with hexagonal phase. The incorporation of increasing amounts of a nanoporous carbon of low functionalization to the WO3 electrodes improved the quantum yield of the reaction and also affected the dynamics of the charge transport, creating a percolation path for the majority carriers. The nanoporous carbon promotes the delocalization of the charge carriers through the graphitic layers. We discuss the incorporation of nanoporous carbons as an interesting strategy for improving the photoelectrochemical performance of nanostructured semiconductor photoelectrodes featuring hindered carrier transport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon-Based Catalyst)
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Open AccessArticle Individual Gas Molecules Detection Using Zinc Oxide–Graphene Hybrid Nanosensor: A DFT Study
Received: 26 June 2018 / Revised: 1 August 2018 / Accepted: 4 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
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Abstract
Surface modification is a reliable method to enhance the sensing properties of pristine graphene by increasing active sites on its surface. Herein, we investigate the interactions of the gas molecules such as NH3, NO, NO2, H2O, and
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Surface modification is a reliable method to enhance the sensing properties of pristine graphene by increasing active sites on its surface. Herein, we investigate the interactions of the gas molecules such as NH3, NO, NO2, H2O, and H2S with a zinc oxide (ZnO)–graphene hybrid nanostructure. Using first-principles density functional theory (DFT), the effects of gas adsorption on the electronic and transport properties of the sensor are examined. The computations show that the sensitivity of the pristine graphene to the above gas molecules is considerably improved after hybridization with zinc oxide. The sensor shows low sensitivity to the NH3 and H2O because of the hydrogen-bonding interactions between the gas molecules and the sensor. Owing to observable alterations in the conductance, large charge transfer, and high adsorption energy; the sensor possesses extraordinary potential for NO and NO2 detection. Interestingly, the H2S gas is totally dissociated through the adsorption process, and a large number of electrons are transferred from the molecule to the sensor, resulting in a substantial change in the conductance of the sensor. As a result, the ZnO–graphene nanosensor might be an auspicious catalyst for H2S dissociation. Our findings open new doors for environment and energy research applications at the nanoscale. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Characterization of Carbon/Nitrogen/Iron Based Nanoparticles by Laser Pyrolysis as Non-Noble Metal Electrocatalysts for Oxygen Reduction
Received: 23 May 2018 / Revised: 11 July 2018 / Accepted: 16 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
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Abstract
This paper reports original results on the synthesis of Carbon/Nitrogen/Iron-based Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) electrocatalysts by CO2 laser pyrolysis. Precursors consisted of two different liquid mixtures containing FeOOH nanoparticles or iron III acetylacetonate as iron precursors, being fed to the reactor as
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This paper reports original results on the synthesis of Carbon/Nitrogen/Iron-based Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) electrocatalysts by CO2 laser pyrolysis. Precursors consisted of two different liquid mixtures containing FeOOH nanoparticles or iron III acetylacetonate as iron precursors, being fed to the reactor as an aerosol of liquid droplets. Carbon and nitrogen were brought by pyridine or a mixture of pyridine and ethanol depending on the iron precursor involved. The use of ammonia as laser energy transfer agent also provided a potential nitrogen source. For each liquid precursor mixture, several syntheses were conducted through the step-by-step modification of NH3 flow volume fraction, so-called R parameter. We found that various feature such as the synthesis production yield or the nanomaterial iron and carbon content, showed identical trends as a function of R for each liquid precursor mixture. The obtained nanomaterials consisted in composite nanostructures in which iron based nanoparticles are, to varying degrees, encapsulated by a presumably nitrogen doped carbon shell. Combining X-ray diffraction and Mossbauer spectroscopy with acid leaching treatment and extensive XPS surface analysis allowed the difficult question of the nature of the formed iron phases to be addressed. Besides metal and carbide iron phases, data suggest the formation of iron nitride phase at high R values. Interestingly, electrochemical measurements reveal that the higher R the higher the onset potential for the ORR, what suggests the need of iron-nitride phase existence for the formation of active sites towards the ORR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon-Based Catalyst)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis of Graphene Nanosheets through Spontaneous Sodiation Process
Received: 11 June 2018 / Revised: 2 July 2018 / Accepted: 6 July 2018 / Published: 23 July 2018
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Abstract
Graphene is one of the emerging materials in the nanotechnology industry due to its potential applications in diverse areas. We report the fabrication of graphene nanosheets by spontaneous electrochemical reaction using solvated ion intercalation into graphite. The current literature focuses on the fabrication
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Graphene is one of the emerging materials in the nanotechnology industry due to its potential applications in diverse areas. We report the fabrication of graphene nanosheets by spontaneous electrochemical reaction using solvated ion intercalation into graphite. The current literature focuses on the fabrication of graphene using lithium metal. Our procedure uses sodium metal, which results in a reduction of costs. Using various characterization techniques, we confirmed the fabrication of graphene nanosheets. We obtained an intensity ratio (ID/IG) of 0.32 using Raman spectroscopy, interlayer spacing of 0.39 nm and our XPS results indicate that our fabricated compound is relatively oxidation free. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of the Properties of Activated Carbons Produced in One-Stage and Two-Stage Processes
Received: 11 June 2018 / Revised: 5 July 2018 / Accepted: 6 July 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
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Abstract
Activated carbons (ACs) can be produced from biomass in a thermal process either in a direct carbonization-activation process or by first carbonizing the biomass and later activating the bio-chars into activated carbons. The properties of the ACs are dependent on the type of
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Activated carbons (ACs) can be produced from biomass in a thermal process either in a direct carbonization-activation process or by first carbonizing the biomass and later activating the bio-chars into activated carbons. The properties of the ACs are dependent on the type of process used for production. In this study, the properties of activated carbons produced in one-stage and two-stage processes are considered. Activated carbons were produced by physical activation of two types of starting materials: bio chars produced from spruce and birch chips in a commercial carbonization plant and from the corresponding raw chips. The activated carbons produced were characterized regarding specific surfaces, pore volumes, and pore size distributions. The un-activated bio chars had varying surface areas, 190 and 140 m2 g−1 for birch and spruce, respectively, and pore volumes of 0.092 and 0.067 cm3 g−1, respectively. On the other hand, 530–617 and 647–679 m2 g−1 for activated bio chars from birch and spruce, respectively, and pore volumes 0.366–0.509 and 0.545–0.555 cm3 g−1, respectively, were obtained. According to the results obtained, two slightly different types of activated carbons are produced depending on whether a one-stage or a two-stage carbonization and activation process is used. The ACs produced in the one-stage process had higher specific surface areas (SSA), according to the BET-model (Brunauer–Emmett–Teller), compared to the ones produced in a two-stage process (761–940 m2 g−1 vs. 540–650 m2 g−1, respectively). In addition, total pore volumes were higher in ACs from the one-stage process, but development of micro-pores was greater compared to those of the two-stage process. This indicates that the process can have an influence on the ACs’ porosity. There was no significant difference in total carbon content in general between the one-stage and two-stage processes for spruce and birch samples, but some differences were seen between the starting materials. Especially in the one-stage procedure with 2 and 4 h steam activation, there was nearly a 10% difference in carbon content between the spruce and birch samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbons from Biomasic Waste and Their Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Controlling the Surface Oxygen Groups of Polyacrylonitrile-Based Carbon Nanofiber Membranes While Limiting Fiber Degradation
Received: 15 May 2018 / Revised: 22 June 2018 / Accepted: 28 June 2018 / Published: 9 July 2018
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Abstract
Enhancing the performance of nanofibrous carbons requires the specific chemical functionalization of the surface, while limiting material degradation or causing other detrimental changes in the surface area and pore structures. We compare traditional oxidation protocols using HNO3, HNO3/H2
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Enhancing the performance of nanofibrous carbons requires the specific chemical functionalization of the surface, while limiting material degradation or causing other detrimental changes in the surface area and pore structures. We compare traditional oxidation protocols using HNO3, HNO3/H2SO4, and KMnO4 with the much less used oxidants RuO4 and OsO4, in tandem with secondary oxidants (such as KMnO4 or Oxone®), for their ability to form carboxylic acids on the surface of polyacrylonitrile-based activated carbon nanofiber membrane (ACNF) materials. While the traditional methods increased the carboxylic acid contents, they also destroyed the macrostructure of the ACNF, concomitant with the loss of up to 17 wt.% of the material. RuO4-mediated oxidations proved also to be too harsh. On the contrary, some of the OsO4-based protocols were characterized by very high mass yields; significant increase in carboxylic acid functionalization (6.3 µmol/mg) compared with the unmodified ACNF (1.7 µmol/mg), but with no concomitant loss of macrostructure, as measured by the retention of the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area; and average pore width. While there was some reduction in micropore volume, the microporosity of the material remained high. The temperature-programmed desorption mass spectrometry (up to 1000 °C) indicated the presence of both single and adjacent carboxylic acid groups. We thus identified mild and highly effective reaction conditions for the functionalization of carbon nanomaterials without undue degradation of their physical properties. Full article
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Open AccessArticle CUBIT: Capacitive qUantum BIT
Received: 1 May 2018 / Revised: 17 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
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Abstract
In this letter, it is proposed that cryogenic quantum bits can operate based on the nonlinearity due to the quantum capacitance of two-dimensional Dirac materials, and in particular graphene. The anharmonicity of a typical superconducting quantum bit is calculated, and the sensitivity of
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In this letter, it is proposed that cryogenic quantum bits can operate based on the nonlinearity due to the quantum capacitance of two-dimensional Dirac materials, and in particular graphene. The anharmonicity of a typical superconducting quantum bit is calculated, and the sensitivity of quantum bit frequency and anharmonicity with respect to temperature are found. Reasonable estimates reveal that a careful fabrication process can reveal expected properties, putting the context of quantum computing hardware into new perspectives. Full article
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Open AccessArticle High-Surface-Area Mesoporous Activated Carbon from Hemp Bast Fiber Using Hydrothermal Processing
Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 June 2018 / Published: 25 June 2018
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Abstract
Synthesis of activated carbon from waste biomass is of current interest towards sustainability. The properties of biomass-derived activated carbon largely depend on the carbonization process. This study reports the preparation of mesoporous activated carbon with extremely high surface area from hemp bast fiber
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Synthesis of activated carbon from waste biomass is of current interest towards sustainability. The properties of biomass-derived activated carbon largely depend on the carbonization process. This study reports the preparation of mesoporous activated carbon with extremely high surface area from hemp bast fiber using hydrothermal processing. Hot water processing (390–500 °C) followed by activation using KOH and NaOH was investigated at different mass ratios. The described approach was found to enhance the mesoporosity (centered at 3.0 to 4.5 nm) of the hemp-derived activated carbon (HAC) from activation [confirmed by BJH (Barrett-Joyner-Halenda) pore size distribution and TEM (transmission electron microscopy) imaging]. BET (Brunauer-Emmett-Teller) results showed that the product has an extremely high surface area (2425 m2/g) while the surface functional groups (–OH, –COOH, C=C/C–C) were confirmed by FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) and further quantified by XPS (X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy). Increasing KOH concentration was found to enhance the surface area with a maximum biochar-to-KOH (g/g) ratio of 1:3. The crystallite domain size of HAC was determined using Raman spectroscopy of different wavelengths. The procedure described in this study is an environmentally friendly scalable route for the mass production of activated carbon using hemp fiber. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbons from Biomasic Waste and Their Applications)
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