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Cobalt disulfide-modified cellular hierarchical porous carbon derived from bovine bone for application in high-performance lithium–sulfur batteries

Zhang, X.Q., Cui, Y.L., Zhong, Y., Wang, D.H., Tang, W.J., Wang, X.L., Xia, X.H., Gu, C.D., Tu, J.P.
Journal of colloid and interface science 2019 v.551 pp. 219-226
carbon, carbonization, cathodes, cattle, cobalt, electrochemistry, hot water treatment, lithium batteries, potassium hydroxide, sulfur
Improving the insulating nature of sulfur and retaining the soluble polysulfides in sulfur cathodes are crucial for realizing the practical application of lithium–sulfur batteries (LSBs). Biomass-based carbon is becoming increasingly popular for fabricating economical and efficient cathodes for LSBs owing to its unique structure. Herein, we report a facile strategy to transform bovine bone with an organic–inorganic structure into cellular hierarchical porous carbon via carbonization and KOH activation, followed by CoS2 modification through hydrothermal treatment. The synthesized composite can load abundant sulfur and produce a dual effect of “physical confinement and chemical entrapment” on polysulfides. The conductive carbon frame with the developed porous structure provides adequate space to accommodate sulfur and physically suppress the shuttle effect of polysulfides. The embedded half-metallic CoS2 sites can chemically anchor the polysulfides and enhance the electrochemical reaction activity as well. Owing to the multifunctional structure and dual restraint effect, the designed electrode exhibits enhanced electrochemical properties including high initial capacity (1230.9 mAh g−1 at 0.2 C), improved cycling stability and enhanced rate capability.