Effects of Nanoporous Carbon Derived from Microalgae and Its CoO Composite on Capacitance

Meng Zhou, Joshua Catanach, Joshua Gomez, Stephanie Richins, Shuguang Deng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Nanoporous carbon was synthesized from microalgae as a promising electrode material for electric double layer capacitors due to its large specific surface area and controllable pore structures. The pore textural properties of the algae-derived-carbon (ADC) samples were measured by N2 adsorption and desorption at 77 K. The performance of the activated carbon (AC) as supercapacitor electrodes was determined by the cyclic voltammetry and galvanostatic charge/discharge tests. The effect of the nanoporous carbon structure on capacitance was demonstrated by calculating the contributions of micropores and mesopores toward capacitance. Capacitance was significantly affected by both pore size and pore depth. To further increase the specific capacity, a single-pot synthesis of porous carbon supported CoO composite (CoO/ADC) electrode material was developed using microalgae as the carbon source and Co(OH)2 as both a carbon activation agent and CoO precursor. After carbonization, CoO particles were formed and embedded in the ADC matrix. The synergic contributions from the combined CoO and ADC resulted in better supercapacitor performance as compared to that of the pure CoO electrode. The calculated specific capacities of CoO/ADC were 387 and 189 C g-1 at 0.2 and 5 A g-1, respectively, which were far more than the capacities of pure CoO electrode (185 C g-1 at 0.2 A g-1 and 77 C g-1 at 5 A g-1). The cycle stability of CoO/ADC also increased significantly (83% retention of the initial capacity for CoO/ADC vs 63% for pure CoO). This research had developed a viable and promising solution for producing composite electrodes in a large quantity for commercial application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4362-4373
Number of pages12
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 8 2017


  • microalgae
  • pore depth
  • pore size
  • specific capacitance
  • specific capacity
  • supercapacitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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