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H₂O-induced self-propagating synthesis of hierarchical porous carbon: a promising lithium storage material with superior rate capability and ultra-long cycling life

Liang, Chu, Liang, Sheng, Xia, Yang, Chen, Yun, Huang, Hui, Gan, Yongping, Tao, Xinyong, Zhang, Jun, Zhang, Wenkui
Journal of materials chemistry A 2017 v.5 no.34 pp. 18221-18229
anodes, carbon, carbon dioxide, carbonization, energy, greenhouse gases, hydrides, lithium, lithium batteries, organic compounds, pollutants, porosity, temperature
Hierarchical porous carbon (HPC) has attracted much attention in tackling global environmental and energy problems. For the state-of-the-art routes to synthesize HPC from organic compounds, the emission of carbon dioxide (CO₂) and gaseous pollutants is inevitable during thermal carbonization. Herein, we report an environmentally benign and high-yield route to synthesize HPC from CO₂via H₂O-induced self-propagating reactions. By introducing an initiator of H₂O, CO₂ can react with lithium hydride (LiH) to produce HPC in 13 seconds at low temperatures. The as-synthesized HPC exhibits an interconnected micro–meso–macropore network structure with a high porosity of 83%. The formation mechanism of HPC is discussed on the basis of the conversion reactions from CO₂ to C and the gas blowing effect in producing hierarchical porosity. The HPC evaluated as an anode material for lithium-ion batteries not only delivers a high reversible capacity of ∼1150 mA h g⁻¹ at a current density of 0.2 A g⁻¹, but also exhibits superior rate capability (∼825 mA h g⁻¹ at 1.0 A g⁻¹) and excellent cycling properties (up to 2000 cycles). This research opens a new avenue both to synthesize HPC from CO₂ on a large scale and to mitigate greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.