Porous graphitic carbon nanosheets (PGCS) are synthesized by an in situ self-generating template strategy based on the carburized effect of iron with cornstalks. Cornstalks firstly coordinate with [Fe(CN)6]4− ions to form the cornstalk–[Fe(CN)6]4− precursor. After carbonization and removal of the catalyst, PGCS are obtained. Series experiments indicate that PGCS can only be formed when using an iron-based catalyst that can generate a carburized phase during the pyrolytic process. The unique structures of PGCS exhibit excellent capacitive performance. The PGCS-1-1100 sample (synthesized from 0.1 M [Fe(CN)6]4− with a carbonization temperature of 1100 °C), which shows excellent electrochemical capacitance (up to 213 F g−1 at 1 A g−1), cycling stability, and rate performance in 6 M KOH electrolyte. In the two-electrode symmetric supercapacitors, the maximum energy densities that can be achieved are as high as 9.4 and 61.3 Wh kg−1 in aqueous and organic electrolytes, respectively. Moreover, high energy densities of 8.3 and 40.6 Wh kg−1 are achieved at the high power density of 10.5 kW kg−1 in aqueous and organic electrolytes, respectively. This strategy holds great promise for preparing PGCS from natural resources, including cornstalks, as advanced electrodes in supercapacitors.
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