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Alkaline lignin derived porous carbon as an efficient scaffold for lithium-selenium battery cathode

Zhang, He, Jia, Dandan, Yang, Zewen, Yu, Faqi, Su, Yunlan, Wang, Dujin, Shen, Qiang
Carbon 2017
batteries, biomass, carbon, carbonization, cathodes, electrochemistry, encapsulation, feedstocks, lignin, porous media, renewable energy sources, selenium, surface area
As one of the most abundant natural aromatic polymers with plentiful oxygen-containing groups in molecular backbones, commercial lignin can be regarded as a sustainable precursor to develop porous carbonaceous frameworks for the encapsulation of elemental selenium. In this paper, an initial combined carbonization/activation of commercial alkaline lignin and subsequent selenium-loading are adopted to fabricate serial composites of lignin-derived porous carbon (LPC) and elemental selenium (i.e., serial Se/LPC composites) for high-performance lithium-selenium (Li-Se) batteries. The high specific surface area, large pore volume and good electron conductivity of each LPC scaffold facilitate the reversible electrochemical reaction of selenium towards metallic Li, and at 0.5 C a Se/LPC composite electrode exhibits a reversible capacity of 596.4 mAh g−1 in the 2nd cycle and a capacity retention of 453.1 mAh g−1 over 300 cycles with an average decay of 0.08% per cycle. The facilely obtained microporous features of LPC scaffold, as well as the high-rate performance of corresponding Se/LPC composites (e.g., 363.2 mAh g−1, 4 C), indicate that large-scale treatment of the biomass feedstock may find its potential application in renewable green energy sources.