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High-Performance Supercapacitors Based on Nitrogen-Doped Porous Carbon from Surplus Sludge

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N-doped porous carbon was synthesized by simple pyrolysis of surplus sludge, an abundant toxic by-product in microbiological treatment of wastewater, as manifested in scanning and transmission electron microscopic, X-ray diffraction, and Raman spectroscopic measurements. The resulting porous carbon exhibited a large surface area of 940 m2/g and pore volume of 3.14 m3/g, as estimated by nitrogen adsorption/desorption isotherm studies. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic measurements showed that nitrogen was embedded within the graphitic matrix forming pyridine- and pyrrole-like structures. With low-resistance electron-transfer pathways and short ion diffusion channels, the sheet-like porous N-doped carbon exhibited great potentials as a unique electrode material for energy storage. In fact, electrochemical studies showed that the N-doped porous carbon possessed a high specific capacitance of 247 F/g at 1 A/g in 1 M H2SO4, and excellent cycle durability without an apparent decrease of the capacitance even after 10,000 cycles of charging and discharging. The strategy presented herein may be exploited for low-cost and large-scale production of N-doped porous carbon materials as electrodes for high-power supercapacitor application.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2015

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  • Science of Advanced Materials (SAM) is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating research activities in all aspects of advanced materials in the fields of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. SAM provides the means for materials scientists, chemists, physicists, biologists, engineers, ceramicists, metallurgists, theoreticians and technocrats to publish original research articles as reviews with author's photo and short biography, full research articles and communications of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all latest aspects of advanced materials.
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