Scalable activated carbon/graphene based supercapacitors with improved capacitance retention at high current densities


Abstract: Scalable, highly stable supercapacitor electrodes were developed from the mixture of a tea factory waste based activated carbon (AC) and a low-cost electrochemical exfoliated graphene (EEG). The hybrid electrodes showed notably enhanced stability at high current densities. The AC sample was prepared by chemical method and exposed to a further heat treatment to enhance electrochemical performance. Graphene used in the preparation of hybrid electrodes was obtained by direct electrochemical exfoliation of graphite in an aqueous solution. Detailed structural characterization of AC, EEG, and hybrid material was performed. The original electrochemical performances of AC and EEG were examined in button size cells using an aqueous electrolyte. The hybrid materials were prepared by mixing AC and EEG at different mass percentage ratios, and tested as supercapacitor electrodes under the same conditions. Capacitance stability of the electrodes developed from AC:EEG (70:30) at high currents increased by about 45% compared to the original AC. The highest gravimetric capacitance (110 F/g) was achieved by this hybrid electrode. The hybrid electrode was scaled up to the pouch size and tested using an organic electrolyte. The organic electrolyte was preferred for scaling up due to its wider voltage ranges. The pouch cell had a gravimetric capacitance of 85 F/g and exhibited as good performance as the coin cell in the organic electrolyte.

Keywords: Activated carbon, electrochemical exfoliated graphene, supercapacitor, capacitance stability, pouch cell

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