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Hierarchical nitrogen-doped porous carbon derived from lecithin for high-performance supercapacitors

Demir, Muslum, Saraswat, Sushil Kumar, Gupta, Ram B.
RSC advances 2017 v.7 no.67 pp. 42430-42442
annealing, capacitance, carbon, carbon electrodes, electrochemistry, electrolytes, energy density, hydrothermal carbonization, lecithins, potassium hydroxide, renewable energy sources, sulfuric acid, surface area
The development of renewable carbon sources for sustainable energy storage applications is of significance importance. Herein, we report the synthesis of three-dimensional N-doped carbons derived from lecithin via a simple route. Hierarchical porous carbons with high surface area (up to 1803 m² g⁻¹) and nitrogen-doping level (up to 9.2 wt%) were successfully prepared by hydrothermal carbonization and a subsequent thermal annealing. The electrochemical performance of the carbon electrodes was examined with both two and three-electrode cell configurations in 1 M KOH and 1 M H₂SO₄ electrolytes. The as-prepared NC-800 electrode features a large specific capacitance (285 F g⁻¹ at 0.5 A g⁻¹), high-rate capacitive behavior, and long-term cycling stability (8% loss after 20 000 cycles). Furthermore, NC-800 exhibits an energy density of 24.7 W h kg⁻¹ at a power density of 500 W kg⁻¹ in 1 M H₂SO₄. The excellent electrochemical performance of N-doped carbons is attributed to the unique hierarchical porous frameworks along with pseudocapacitive effect. This work opens up a new approach for preparation of hierarchical N-doped porous carbon materials with tailored properties for supercapacitor applications.