Sono-exfoliated graphene-like activated carbon from hazelnut shells for flexible supercapacitors

Reddygunta, Kiran Kumar Reddy and Callander, Andrew and Šiller, Lidija and Faulds, Karen and Berlouis, Leonard and Ivaturi, Aruna (2022) Sono-exfoliated graphene-like activated carbon from hazelnut shells for flexible supercapacitors. International Journal of Energy Research, 46 (12). pp. 16512-16537. ISSN 0363-907X (

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Currently, more than 80 % of commercial supercapacitors utilize chemically synthesized carbon nanomaterials which are expensive and necessitates non-renewable resources. Employing renewable, environment friendly and naturally available biomass feedstock as precursor for producing carbon materials is a low-cost and sustainable way for designing the electrodes of supercapacitors. In the present study, high surface area hierarchical porous multilayered graphene-like carbon is obtained via room temperature sono-exfoliation of the activated carbon synthesized via simple and environmentally friendly hydrothermal carbonization and potassium bicarbonate activation of waste hazelnut shells as the precursor. The high surface area graphene-like carbon showed excellent electrochemical performance with specific capacitance of 320.9 F g-1 at 0.2 A g-1 current density and exceptional capacitance retention of 77.8 % at 2 A g-1 current density after 10000 cycles in 1 M Na2SO4 electrolyte. Moreover, flexible supercapacitors fabricated using sono-exfoliated graphene-like activated carbon coated stainless steel mesh electrodes and biopolymer gel electrolyte exhibits an outstanding energy density of 38.7 W h kg-1 and power density of 198.4 W kg-1. These results show that mechanically exfoliated graphene-like activated carbon derived from hazelnut shells exhibit superior electrochemical performance that can compete with other activated carbon materials used in energy storage devices for real time applications.