A simple and efficient way to synthesize activated mesoporous biocarbons (AMBs) with extremely high BET surface area and large pore volume has been achieved for the first time through a simple solid state activation of freely available biomass, Arundo donax, with zinc chloride. The textural parameters of the AMB can easily be controlled by varying the activation temperature. It is demonstrated that the mesoporosity of AMB can be finely tuned with a simple adjustment of the amount of activating agent. AMB with almost 100% mesoporosity can be achieved using the activating agent and the biomass ratio of 5 and carbonization at 500 °C. Under the optimized conditions, AMB with a BET surface area of 3298 m2 g-1 and a pore volume of 1.9 cm3 g-1 can be prepared. While being used as an adsorbent for CO2 capture, AMB registers an impressively high pressure CO2 adsorption capacity of 30.2 mmol g-1 at 30 bar which is much higher than that of activated carbon (AC), multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), highly ordered mesoporous carbons, and mesoporous carbon nitrides. AMB also shows high stability with excellent regeneration properties under vacuum and temperatures of up to 250 °C. These impressive textural parameters and high CO2 adsorption capacity of AMB clearly reveal its potential as a promising adsorbent for high-pressure CO2 capture and storage application. Also, the simple one-step synthesis strategy outlined in this work would provide a pathway to generate a series of novel mesoporous activated biocarbons from different biomasses.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The work carried out in this manuscript was financially supported by the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE) through grant 3.3.02-15/16, whose activities are funded by the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre’s Program. A.V. also acknowledges the research support and laboratory facilities provided by Future Industries Institute, University of South Australia, and Australian Research Council for the Future Fellowship and (FT100100970) Discovery Grants (DP150104828 and DP170104478).
© 2017 American Chemical Society.
- activated biocarbon
- Arundo donax
- CO adsorption
- one-step solid state activation