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High energy density supercapacitors from lignin derived submicron activated carbon fibers in aqueous electrolytes


Highly porous submicron activated carbon fibers (ACFs) were robustly generated from low sulfonated alkali lignin and fabricated into supercapacitors for capacitive energy storage. The hydrophilic and high specific surface ACFs exhibited large-size nanographites and good electrical conductivity to demonstrate outstanding electrochemical performance. ACFs from KOH activation, in particular, showed very high 344 F g-1 specific capacitance at low 1.8 mg cm-2 mass loading and 10 mV s-1 scan rate in aqueous electrolytes. Even at relatively high scan rate of 50 mV s-1 and mass loading of 10 mg cm-2, a decent specific capacitance of 196 F g-1 and a remarkable areal capacitance of 0.55 F cm-2 was obtained, leading to high energy density of 8.1 Wh kg-1 based on averaged electrodes mass. Furthermore, over 96% capacitance retention rates were achieved after 5000 charge/discharge cycles. Such excellent performance demonstrated great potential of lignin derived carbons for electrical energy storage. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved..

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