Hydrothermal and peat-derived carbons as electrode materials for high-efficient electrical double-layer capacitors

  • M. Härmas
  • R. Palm
  • T. ThombergEmail author
  • R. Härmas
  • M. Koppel
  • M. Paalo
  • I. Tallo
  • T. Romann
  • A. Jänes
  • E. Lust
Research Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Capacitors


Different micro–mesoporous carbons derived from d-glucose (GDC), granulated white sugar (WSDC) and highly decomposed Estonian peat (PDC) were synthesized using hydrothermal carbonization and direct activation methods. The resulting carbonaceous materials were activated using chemical (KOH and ZnCl2) and physical (CO2) activation methods. The electrochemical characteristics of the electrical double-layer capacitors (EDLCs) based on 1 M Et3MeNBF4 solution in acetonitrile and EtMeImBF4 were measured using two-electrode cells. The EDLCs assembled had specific capacitances from 20 up to 158 ± 18 F g−1 (in EtMeImBF4) and phase angle values from − 65° to − 88° (at low frequencies). The characteristic time constant values vary more than 10 times. Applying constant power discharge method, very high energy and power densities (34 W h kg−1 at 10 kW kg−1) for activated carbon powders-based EDLCs have been measured. Fitting of impedance data showed that enhanced mesoporosity reduces the adsorption and mass-transfer resistance values.

Graphic abstract


Activated carbon Hydrothermal carbonization Electrical double-layer capacitor Non-aqueous electrolyte Peat-derived carbon 



This research was supported by the EU through the European Regional Development Fund (Center of Excellence, 2014-2020.4.01.15-0011, TeRa project SLOKT12026T, higher education specialization stipends in smart specialization growth areas 2014-2020.4.02.16-0026) and Institutional Research Grant IUT20–13 and Estonian Research Council Grant PUT1033.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10800_2019_1364_MOESM1_ESM.docx (865 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 865 kb)


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of ChemistryUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia

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