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Effects of pore widening versus oxygenation on capacitance of activated carbon in aqueous sodium sulfate electrolyte

Zhang, Lixing; Chi, Yuqin; Sun, Xiaolei; Gu, Huazhi; Zhang, Haijun; Li, Zhen; Chen, Yao; Chen, George Zheng


Lixing Zhang

Yuqin Chi

Xiaolei Sun

Huazhi Gu

Haijun Zhang

Zhen Li

Yao Chen

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Professor of Electrochemical Technologies


The commercial activated carbon has a relatively low specific capacitance in the Na2SO4 electrolyte, which hinder the development of asymmetrical supercapacitors with high voltage. Re-activation and oxidative etching methods were applied to change the pore structure of activated carbon, respectively, to study the capacitive behavior of carbon in the Na2SO4 electrolyte. The pore distributions combining with capacitive properties deduce that 0.85 nm is the threshold diameter of the ion-accessible micropores for hydrated Na+ and SO4 2−. The specific capacitances of both the carbon materials by re-activation and oxidative etching methods are increased by 40%, in comparison with the commercial activated carbon. The enhanced capacitive performances of the carbon materials were mainly attributed to the increased ion-accessible specific surface area and pseudocapacitance, respectively. The oxidative etching is a more facile and economical method for practice application. Combining with MnO2 as the positive electrode, the asymmetrical supercapacitor with a high voltage of 1.8 V exhibits a maximum specific cell capacitance of 50 F g–1 and specific energy of 22.5 Wh kg–1.


Zhang, L., Chi, Y., Sun, X., Gu, H., Zhang, H., Li, Z., …Chen, G. Z. (2020). Effects of pore widening versus oxygenation on capacitance of activated carbon in aqueous sodium sulfate electrolyte. Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 167,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 11, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 4, 2020
Publication Date 2020
Deposit Date Feb 12, 2020
Publicly Available Date Mar 9, 2020
Journal Journal of the Electrochemical Society
Print ISSN 0013-4651
Publisher Electrochemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 167
Article Number 040524
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Zhang_2020_J._Electrochem._Soc._167_040524 (710 Kb)

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