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Activated Carbon Utilization from Corn Derivatives for High Energy Density Flexible Supercapacitors

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Lidija Siller



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Porous activated carbon from four types of corn derivatives (husk, fibre, grain, and cob) are compared for the first time for their structural, morphological and electrochemical characteristics for application as electrode material in flexible supercapacitors. Benefiting from its hierarchical porous structure with appropriate amount of N, O functional groups, large specific surface area (1804 m2 g−1), and a high degree of graphitization, activated carbon from corn grains displayed best electrochemical performance as electrode material for supercapacitor application with a high specific capacitance (411 F g−1 at 1.0 A g−1) and excellent rate capacity (85.7% capacitance retention at 30 A g−1) in aqueous 6 M KOH electrolyte tested in three electrode configuration. High specific surface area and higher degree of graphitization played a crucial role in determining the energy storage performance of the activated carbon (AC grain) from corn grain sample. Most importantly, the assembled flexible supercapacitor based on slot-die coated AC grain electrodes and hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC)/KOH bio-polymer electrolyte delivered an outstanding electrochemical performance with an energy density of 31.1 W h kg−1 at 215 W kg−1 and ultra-high cyclic stability (91.3% after 10000 cycles at 5 A g−1 current density). Also, the assembled flexible supercapacitor maintained an energy density of 20.03 W h kg−1 even under high power density of up to 28.01 kW kg−1. These findings conclude that the porous carbon material obtained from corn grains has enormous potential as high-performance electrode materials for supercapacitors.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Reddygunta KKR, Baresford R, Šiller L, Berlouis L, Ivanturi A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Energy and Fuels

Year: 2023

Volume: 37

Issue: 23

Pages: 17617-19376

Print publication date: 07/12/2023

Online publication date: 22/11/2023

Acceptance date: 01/11/2023

Date deposited: 09/11/2023

ISSN (print): 0887-0624

ISSN (electronic): 1520-5029

Publisher: American Chemical Society


DOI: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.3c01925


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Funder referenceFunder name
ngineeringandPhysicalSciencesResearchCouncil(EPSRC),U.K., for theNEXUSfacilityat NewcastleUniversity(NS/A000015/1
U.K. ResearchandInnovation(UKRI),Engineeringand PhysicalSciencesResearchCouncil(EPSRC),for the Fellowshipgrant (EP/P011500/1)