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Preparation of nitrogen-doped porous carbons for high-performance supercapacitor using biomass of waste lotus stems

Yan, Song, Lin, Jingjing, Liu, Ping, Zhao, Zhicheng, Lian, Jun, Chang, Wei, Yao, Lu, Liu, Yueran, Lin, Hualin, Han, Sheng
RSC advances 2018 v.8 no.13 pp. 6806-6813
X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, activated carbon, biomass, capacitance, electrochemistry, nitrogen, pyridines, stems, surface area, total nitrogen, wastes
In this study, advanced nitrogen-doped porous carbon materials for supercapacitor was prepared using low-cost and environmentally friendly waste lotus stems (denoted as LS-NCs). Nitrogen in the surface functionalities of LS-NCs was investigated using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis. The sum of pyridine nitrogen (N-6) and pyrrolic/pyridinic (N-5) contents accounted for 94.7% of the total nitrogen and significantly contributed to conductivity. Pore structure and surface area of activated carbons were measured using the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller method. A maximum specific surface area of 1322 m² g⁻¹ was achieved for LS-NCs. The porous carbons exhibited excellent electrochemical properties with a specific capacitance of 360.5 F g⁻¹ at a current density of 0.5 A g⁻¹ and excellent cycling stability (96% specific capacitance retention after 5000 cycles). The above findings indicate that taking advantage of the unique structure of abundant waste lotus stem provides a low-cost and feasible design for high-performance supercapacitors.