Reclaimed Carbon Fiber-Based 2.4 V Aqueous Symmetric Supercapacitors

Carbon fiber (CF) is a promising material as carbon-based electrode and support for flexible supercapacitors. However, it still suffers from narrow voltage in the aqueous electrolyte due to the water decomposition (1.23 V). Herein, an aerobic pyrolysis is developed to recover aligned carbon fibers from carbon fiber reinforced polymers. More importantly, during this oxygen existence condition, the surface of reclaimed carbon fibers (RCFs) is etched into groove-shaped structure and modified by introducing abundant oxygen-containing functional groups, which significantly expands the negative potential window of RCFs-based electrode to −1.4 V (vs standard calomel electrode) and the working voltage of RCFs-based symmetric supercapacitor to 2.4 V in an aqueous electrolyte of 1.0 M Na2SO4, with capacitance retention of 90% and 93.6% after 10 000 cycles, respectively. This work well matches the aerobic pyrolysis of recovery of CFs from CFRPs and electrochemical performances of RCFs, supplying a new strategy to develop high-performance energy storage device.