349422 Carbon-Based Supercapacitors Derived from the Activation of Algae

Monday, November 4, 2013
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton)
Joshua Catanach, Meng Zhou, Gen Chen, Hongmei Luo and Shuguang Deng, Chemical Engineering Department, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM

Supercapacitors, also known as Electric Double Layer Capacitors (EDLC), utilize the characteristics of high surface area conducting materials to store electrical charge.  Unlike batteries, they are not limited by electrochemical reactions and thus have very high charge and discharge rates with lifetimes over a million cycles.  The commercial use of supercapacitors has been limited by their relatively low energy storage density, and current research has focused on increasing their energy density without sacrificing their high power density or decreasing the cycle life.

Recently, our research team successfully derived activated carbon from algae through the impregnation of sodium hydroxide followed by carbonization at 600° C. the EDLCs using algae-derived –carbon (ADC) as electrodes show very high specific capacitance (῀380 F/g).  The ADC properties were characterized by XRD, TEM, and TGA. The EDLCs were tested by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and galvanostatic charge/discharge. This synthetic strategy could provide further insights of the transformation of biomass into activated carbon for high performance EDLCs.

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