Mesoporous carbon nanofiber network derived from agarose for supercapacitor electrode

  • Zhiyi Zhang
  • Yanhao Yu
  • Chunhua Yao
  • Zhaodong Li
  • Guoquan Suo
  • Junwei Wu
  • Xudong WangEmail author
  • Mingjia ZhiEmail author
  • Zhanglian HongEmail author
Research Paper


Great efforts have been devoted on searching for sustainable and earth-abundant precursors to prepare activated carbon suitable for supercapacitor electrode applications. In this paper, we demonstrated the preparation of mesoporous carbon nanofiber network (~ 10 nm in diameter of the nanofibers) from agarose precursors. With the aid of zinc acetate, the nanofiber network structure existing in natural agarose gel can be well retained after the carbonization process and the yielded mesoporous carbon nanofiber networks have high surface area and large pore volume without further activation. Supercapacitor electrodes were made from such mesoporous carbon nanofiber networks and specific capacitance of 157 F g−1 can be achieved with the optimized zinc acetate concentration and carbonization temperature.


Mesoporous carbon Agarose Nanofiber network Supercapacitor Carbon nanomaterials 


Funding information

This work is supported by National key research and development program (Grant No. 2016YFB0901600) and NSCF (Grant Nos. 21303162 and 11604295).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11051_2018_4350_MOESM1_ESM.docx (8.8 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 9053 kb)


  1. Black JM et al (2014) Strain-based in situ study of anion and cation insertion into porous carbon electrodes with different pore sizes. Adv Energy Mater 4:1300683. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chmiola J, Yushin G, Dash R, Gogotsi Y (2006) Effect of pore size and surface area of carbide derived carbons on specific capacitance. J Power Sources 158:765–772. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Eberle DU, von Helmolt DR (2010) Sustainable transportation based on electric vehicle concepts: a brief overview. Energy Environ Sci 3:689–699. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. González A, Goikolea E, Barrena JA, Mysyk R (2016) Review on supercapacitors: Technologies and materials. Renew Sust Energ Rev 58:1189–1206. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hannan MA, Hoque MM, Mohamed A, Ayob A (2017) Review of energy storage systems for electric vehicle applications: issues and challenges. Renew Sust Energ Rev 69:771–789. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. He X et al (2012) Synthesis of mesoporous carbons for supercapacitors from coal tar pitch by coupling microwave-assisted KOH activation with a MgO template. Carbon 50:4911–4921. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. He X et al (2013) Synthesis of hierarchical porous carbons for supercapacitors from coal tar pitch with nano-Fe2O3 as template and activation agent coupled with KOH activation. J Mater Chem A 1:9440–9448. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hu Z, Srinivasan MP, Ni Y (2001) Novel activation process for preparing highly microporous and mesoporous activated carbons. Carbon 39:877–886. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ismanto AE, Wang S, Soetaredjo FE, Ismadji S (2010) Preparation of capacitor’s electrode from cassava peel waste. Bioresour Technol 101:3534–3540. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kalpana D, Cho SH, Lee SB, Lee YS, Misra R, Renganathan NG (2009) Recycled waste paper—a new source of raw material for electric double-layer capacitors. J Power Sources 190:587–591. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kim CH, Kim B-H (2015) Zinc oxide/activated carbon nanofiber composites for high-performance supercapacitor electrodes. J Power Sources 274:512–520. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kleszyk P, Ratajczak P, Skowron P, Jagiello J, Abbas Q, Frąckowiak E, Béguin F (2015) Carbons with narrow pore size distribution prepared by simultaneous carbonization and self-activation of tobacco stems and their application to supercapacitors. Carbon 81:148–157. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Li Z, Lv W, Zhang C, Li B, Kang F, Yang Q-H (2015) A sheet-like porous carbon for high-rate supercapacitors produced by the carbonization of an eggplant. Carbon 92:11–14. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ma X, Luke K, Yan-Yan H, Xunpei L, Klaus SR, Surya M, Mufit A (2012) Aqueous route synthesis of mesoporous ZrO2 by agarose templation. J Am Ceram Soc 95:3455–3462. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mo R-J et al (2016) Activated carbon from nitrogen rich watermelon rind for high-performance supercapacitors. RSC Adv 6:59333–59342. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Park S, Nam I, Kim G-P, Han JW, Yi J (2013a) Hybrid MnO2 film with agarose gel for enhancing the structural integrity of thin film supercapacitor electrodes. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 5:9908–990\. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Park S, Nam I, Kim G-P, Park J, Kim ND, Kim Y, Yi J (2013b) A brain-coral-inspired metal-carbon hybrid synthesized using agarose gel for ultra-fast charge and discharge supercapacitor electrodes. Chem Commun 49:1554–1556. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Parvini Y, Siegel JB, Stefanopoulou AG, Vahidi A (2016) Supercapacitor electrical and thermal modeling, identification, and validation for a wide range of temperature and power applications. IEEE Trans Ind Electron 63:1574–1585. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Raymundo-Piňero E, Gao Q, Béguin F (2013) Carbons for supercapacitors obtained by one-step pressure induced oxidation at low temperature. Carbon 61:278–283. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rodriguez-Reinoso F, Martin-Martinez JM, Prado-Burguete C, McEnaney B (1987) A standard adsorption isotherm for the characterization of activated carbons. J Phys Chem 91:515–516. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rufford TE, Hulicova-Jurcakova D, Fiset E, Zhu Z, Lu GQ (2009) Double-layer capacitance of waste coffee ground activated carbons in an organic electrolyte. Electrochem Commun 11:974–977. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Shekhar G, Phatak A, Rai M, Karandikar PB (2015) Assessment of supercapacitor based on carbon material synthesized from neem tree leaves. In: 2015 IEEE International Conference on Electrical, Computer and Communication Technologies (ICECCT), 5–7 March 2015. pp 1–5.
  23. Su DS, Schlögl R (2010) Nanostructured carbon and carbon nanocomposites for electrochemical energy storage applications. Chem Suss Chem 3:136–168. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sun L et al (2013) From coconut shell to porous graphene-like nanosheets for high-power supercapacitors. J Mater Chem A 1:6462–6470. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Titirici M-M, White RJ, Falco C, Sevilla M (2012) Black perspectives for a green future: hydrothermal carbons for environment protection and energy storage. Energy Environ Sci 5:6796–6822. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Trivedi TJ, Dhrubajyoti B, Jong-Sung Y, Arvind K (2015) Functionalized agarose self-healing Ionogels suitable for supercapacitors. Chem Suss Chem 8:3294–3303. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wei L, Yushin G (2012) Nanostructured activated carbons from natural precursors for electrical double layer capacitors. Nano Energy 1:552–565. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wei L et al (2011) A self-template strategy for the synthesis of mesoporous carbon nanofibers as advanced supercapacitor electrodes. Adv Energy Mater 1:382–386. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wu X-L, Wen T, Guo H-L, Yang S, Wang X, Xu A-W (2013) Biomass-derived sponge-like carbonaceous hydrogels and aerogels for supercapacitors. ACS Nano 7:3589–3597. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Yamada H, Nakamura H, Nakahara F, Moriguchi I, Kudo T (2007) Electrochemical study of high electrochemical double layer capacitance of ordered porous carbons with both meso/macropores and micropores. J Phys Chem C 111:227–233. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Yan H et al (2016) Multifunctional energy storage and conversion devices. Adv Mater 28:8344–8364. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. You B, Kang F, Yin P, Zhang Q (2016) Hydrogel-derived heteroatom-doped porous carbon networks for supercapacitor and electrocatalytic oxygen reduction. Carbon 103:9–15. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zhi M, Yang F, Meng F, Li M, Manivannan A, Wu N (2014) Effects of pore structure on performance of an activated-carbon supercapacitor electrode recycled from scrap waste tires. ACS Sustain Chem Eng 2:1592–1598. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zhou J, Zhou M, Caruso RA (2006) Agarose template for the fabrication of macroporous metal oxide structures. Langmuir 22:3332–3336. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zucca P, Fernandez-Lafuente R, Sanjust E (2016) Agarose and its derivatives as supports for enzyme immobilization. Molecules 21:1577CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Silicon Materials, School of Materials Science and EngineeringZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Material Science and EngineeringUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.College of Textile EngineeringTaiyuan University of TechnologyJinzhongPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.School of Materials Science and EngineeringShaanxi University of Science and TechnologyXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringHarbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen Graduate SchoolShenzhenPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations