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Facile Approach for Synthesizing High-Performance MnO/C Electrodes from Rice Husk

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journal contribution
posted on 31.10.2019, 19:13 authored by Dan Zhan, Wei Luo, Heinz-Bernhard Kraatz, Marcus Fehse, Yuqi Li, Zuoan Xiao, Dermot F. Brougham, André J. Simpson, Bing Wu
Pyrolysis is an effective way to convert biomass into biofuel while obtaining highly porous active carbon materials. In this study, a facile approach, involving hydrothermal and pyrolysis steps, is described for preparing hybrid metal oxide nanoparticle-embedded porous hard carbon matrices (MnO/C) from the biowaste rice husk and organometallic precursors. It was found that the pyrolysis/calcination temperature had a strong influence over the microstructure, especially over the porosity, but also over the carbon content and crystallinity of the nanocomposites; hence, the electrical properties can be controlled. Galvanostatic measurements showed that the nanocomposite obtained at 600 °C exhibited the highest charge/discharge capacity and best stability, delivering an initial discharge capacity of 1104 mA·h·g–1 at a current density of 200 mA·g–1, and retaining a value of 830 mA·h·g–1 after 200 cycles, suggesting excellent cycle stability. A discharge capacity of 581 mA·h·g–1 was obtained even at a current density as high as 2400 mA·g–1, demonstrating superb rate capability. This outstanding electrochemical performance, ascribed to high electrochemical activity of the embedded MnO nanoparticles enhanced by electrical conductivity provided through the high surface area of the active porous carbon support, is discussed in relation to the microstructure of the nanocomposite.