Carbon Soot as a Potential and Sustainable Source of Porous Nanostructure for Energy Storage

Attah, Chima Paschal (2017-11-13)


There is a need for efficient energy storage to meet the world’s continuous demand for energy. The electrical energy storage devices available are conventional capacitors, electrochemical supercapacitors, batteries and fuel cells. The electrode materials play an important role in improving the efficiency of energy storage systems such as batteries and electrochemical supercapacitors. The electrochemical supercapacitors have power densities greater than those of batteries, energy densities greater than those of conventional capacitors and also maintain high cyclic life. Despite these advantages, electrochemical supercapacitors do not offer sufficient energy densities compared to batteries and fuel cells. Therefore, there is a need for research to improve the performance of electrochemical supercapacitors without compromising on their power densities and cycle life. This work explores the use of carbon soot as a potential and sustainable source of porous activated carbon materials and as an electrode for supercapacitors. This is because soot is produced in the combustion chambers of vehicles and is readily available and abundant. Thus, we explored carbon soot as a potential electrode material for supercapacitors using potassium bicarbonate as the activating agent and the activated carbon displayed a specific surface area of 61.85 m 2 g -1 and a capacitance of 83.2 F g -1 at the low current density of 0.5 Ag -1 . This result demonstrates the potential of this source of activated carbon for electrochemical applications.