A hierarchical microporous carbon material with a Brunauer–Emmett–Teller surface area of 1348 m2 g−1 and a pore volume of 0.67 cm3 g−1 was prepared from yeast through chemical activation with potassium hydroxide. This type of material contains large numbers of nitrogen-containing groups (nitrogen content >5.3 wt %), and, consequently, basic sites. As a result, this material shows a faster adsorption rate and a higher adsorption capacity of CO2 than the material obtained by directly carbonizing yeast under the same conditions. The difference is more pronounced in the presence of N2 or H2O, showing that chemical activation of discarded yeast with potassium hydroxide could afford high-performance microporous carbon materials for the capture of CO2.
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