Nanoporous activated biocarbons with high surface areas from alligator weed and their excellent performance for CO2 capture at both low and high pressures

Gurwinder Singh, Rohan Bahadur, Jang Mee Lee, In Young Kim, Ajanya M. Ruban, Jefrin M. Davidraj, Dean Semit, Ajay Karakoti, Ala'a H. Al Muhtaseb, Ajayan Vinu

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71 Scopus citations


We report on the preparation of highly efficient nanoporous activated biocarbons (NABs) from alligator weed with high surface areas, pore volumes, tunable microporosity and oxygen functional groups for carbon dioxide adsorption. Alligator weed is converted into a non-porous carbon at 600 °C, which is then activated using potassium hydroxide at 800 °C through liquid state chemical activation. The simple synthesis provides easy control over experimental conditions which are carefully manipulated to yield the optimized material with a high specific surface area (3106 m2 g−1) and a high pore volume (1.62 cm3 g−1). It is also demonstrated that the microporosity and surface oxygen functional groups can be controlled with a simple adjustment of the amount of potassium hydroxide. Owing to the excellent textural features, the optimized material adsorbed a high amount of carbon dioxide at 0 °C (30.4 mmol g−1), 10 °C (27.7 mmol g−1) and 25 °C (23.3 mmol g−1) at a high pressure of 30 bar, which is much higher than that of activated carbon, ordered nanoporous carbon and mesoporous silicas. It also shows a low value of isosteric heat of adsorption (~22 kJ mol−1) that indicates physical adsorption. The material with high microporosity shows impressive carbon dioxide adsorption capacity of 6.4 mmol g−1 at 0 °C and low pressure of 1 bar. The high and low pressure carbon dioxide adsorption values indicate that the materials are promising adsorbents for carbon dioxide and the physical adsorption implies an easier regeneration. These findings suggest that biomass alligator weed can be utilized for devising advanced nanomaterials with high porosity for carbon capture.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126787
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
One of the authors A. Vinu acknowledges the University of Newcastle for the start-up funds and the Australian Research Council for the award of Discovery Grants ( DP170104478 and DP150104828 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • CO2 capture
  • High surface area
  • Nanoporous adsorbents
  • Surface functionalization
  • Tunable porosity


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