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Keywords:

  • biomass;
  • carbon;
  • electrochemistry;
  • energy storage;
  • supercapacitors

Abstract

Supercapacitors are attracting intense scientific attention as they can bridge the energy-power gap between commercial batteries and electrolytic capacitors. High-surface area activated carbon remains the electrode material of choice for commercial systems due to the inherently lower cost relative to the more exotic alternatives such as graphene, carbon nanotubes, or their hybrids. However, activated carbon possesses an inferior electrochemical performance relative to these more open and electrically conductive structures. This limits its feasibility as electrodes for future high-performance devices. In this concept paper we summarized two case studies of creating unique biomass-derived carbons by preserving the precursors’ intrinsic structure or transforming the precursor structure into graphene-like materials that actually demonstrate electrochemical performance on par with, or even better than, their much costlier alternatives.