Herein, the edges in carbon materials were quantitatively evaluated by summing the amount of hydrogen and the amount of functional groups without hydrogen in the material. The amount of hydrogen in the carbon material was quantitated via temperature-programmed oxidation (TPO) under an oxygen atmosphere, whereas the amount of functional groups was determined via temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) of the sample under an inert atmosphere. Consequently, the amount of edges in exfoliated carbon fibers prepared from polyacrylonitrile (PAN) (referred to as PAN-1000) was 9.4 mmol g−1. In addition, Ketjen Black (KB) and activated carbon (AC) had edge content of 1.3 and 3.6 mmol g−1, respectively. Because the total amount of functional groups of PAN-1000, KB and AC were estimated to be 8.18, 0.082 and 1.02 mmol g−1 via TPD, the total amount of edges and oxygen-containing functional groups of each sample could be quantified. The difference between amount of edges and the amount of functional groups is speculated to correspond to the amount of edges terminated with hydrogen. This study revealed that detailed information about the edges such as their proportion terminated with oxygen-containing functional groups, the species and amount of oxygen-containing functional groups via a combination of TPO and TPD.
Low cost and scalable manufacturing of highly doped cellulose for enhanced multifunctional applications is still an issue. In this work, eco-friendly nanocomposites were fabricated by incorporating regenerated cellulose (RC) of 10, 30, and 50 wt% into an exfoliated graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs), resulting in the intercalation of GnPs. The thermal and electrical properties of hybrid nanocomposites were investigated. The structural property was conducted through scanning electron microscope and X-ray diffraction analyses. Strong frequency-dependent dielectric response was found due to the change of the permittivity and the loss tangent of nanocomposites by different content of RC, which is associated with the polarizations behavior. Non-elastic relaxation at the GNPs–RC chains interfacial areas in an alternating field was identified as the main cause of polarization losses among others. Detailed ferroelectric measurements provided the evidence of the ideal resistive behavior of the nanocomposites, which are confirmed by the resistivity measurements along the out-of-plane direction of the nanocomposite sheets.
We report a facile and versatile strategy to prepare multi-dimensional nanocarbons hybridized with mesoporous SiO2. Carbon nanoplatelets (CNPs, two-dimensional structure of nanocarbons) were combined with carbon nanotubes (CNTs, onedimensional nanocarbons) to form multi-dimensional carbons (2D–1D, CNP–CNTs). The CNP–CNTs were synthesized by directly growing CNTs on CNPs. A simple solution-based process using TEOS (tetraethyl orthosilicate) resulted in coating or hybridizing CNP–CNTs with mesoporous silica to produce CNP–CNTs@SiO2. The nanocarbons’ surface area significantly increased as the amount of TEOS increased. Electrochemical characterizations of CNP–CNTs@SiO2 as supercapactior electrodes including cyclic voltammetry and galvanostatic charge–discharge in 3 M KOH (aq) reveal excellent-specific capacitance of 23.84 mF cm−2 at 20 mV s−1, stable charge–discharge operation, and low internal resistance. Our work demonstrates mesoporous SiO2 on nanocarbons have great potential in electrochemical energy storage.
In this article, a new type of mesoporous carbon nanoparticles (MCN) was fabricated as a potential oral delivery system of insulin to reduce the adverse reactions by hypodermic injection. The mesoporous carbon nanoparticles-carried insulin (MCNI) was studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) compared with the blank MCNs. The Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) method was utilized to calculate the specific surface area. The pore volume and pore size distribution (PSD) curves were calculated by Barrett–Joyner–Halenda (BJH) model. The entrapment efficiency (EE%) and loading content (LC%) of insulin onto the MCNs were determined by RP-HPLC. In vitro insulin release from MCNI was determined in simulated intestinal fluid. To evaluate the pharmacodynamics of MCNIs orally, the variation of glycemia of diabetic rats after oral administration of MCNIs was compared with the rats receiving hypodermic injection of insulin. Besides, the absorption of FITC-labeled MCNs in HCT-116 cells was tested. The results showed that there is significant difference between MCNs and MCNIs through SEM, TEM, and FT-IR. The entrapment efficiency, loading content and in vitro insulin release met the requirements of the pharmacodynamic study. The specific surface area, pore volume and pore size of MCNIs were significantly decreased compared to that of MCNs. The pharmacodynamics study showed that the blood sugar level was significantly decreased after the oral administration of MCNIs. The FITC-labeled MCNs showed significant absorption in HCT-116 cells. The MCNIs were successfully synthesized with commendable entrapment efficiency and loading content which preferably decreased the blood sugar in diabetes rats via oral administration.
Lignocellulosic materials such as agricultural residues have been identified as potential sustainable sources that can replace petroleum-based polymers. This study focused on the conversion of lignin extracted from bagasse to carbon fiber (CF) and cellulose nanocrystal (CNC). The highest extraction of lignin yield was achieved at 100 °C using 10% NaOH for 12 h. Carbon fibers were obtained by electro-spinning of bagasse lignin blended with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) (11 wt/v %) followed by thermo-stabilization (250 °C) in an oxidizing atmosphere and further carbonization in an inert atmosphere (850 °C). Conventional hydrolysis process was used to extract cellulose nanocrystal from bagasse pulp. Morphological (scanning electron microscopy, SEM), spectral (Fourier transform infrared, FTIR) spectroscopy, elemental analysis, thermal characterization and surface area measurements have been carried out. Figures originated by SEM showed that CF ranges from 145 to 204 nm, while stabilized bagasse cellulose nanocrystal (SCNC) appeared as rod-shape like structure in the range of length 600–800 nm and diameter 5.33–19 μm. Characterization results revealed that CF exhibits microporous structure, while bagasse lignin and SCNC display mesoporous structure. In addition, the results proved that SCNC exhibits a percentage removal 71.56% for methylene blue dye in an aqueous solution.
One- and two-dimensional carbon nanomaterials were tested as adsorbents for the elimination of two anionic dyes, reactive red 2 and methyl orange, and the cationic dye methylene blue from aqueous solutions under the same conditions. Carbon nanomaterials performed well in the removal of dyes. Surface oxygenated groups in the nanomaterials improved the cationic dyes’ adsorption, but not the adsorption of the anionic dye. The interactions between nanomaterials and dyes were verified by infrared and Raman spectroscopy. The pseudo-second order kinetic model was better fitted to the kinetic experimental data than the Elovich and pseudo-first order models. The equilibrium adsorption data were best fitted by the Langmuir model. The dimensions and morphology of the carbon nanomaterials play an important role in the adsorption of the three dyes. The main mechanism of adsorption of anionic dyes is by the interactions of the aromatic rings of the dye structures and π delocalized electrons on carbon nanostructures; the adsorption of cationic dye is mainly due to electrostatic interactions.
Chlorella-derived activated carbon (CDAC) with a high specific surface area and hierarchical pore structure was prepared as a CO2 adsorbent and as a supercapacitor electrode material. During KOH activation of Chlorella-derived carbon, metallic K gas penetrated from the outer walls to the inner cells, and pores formed on the outer frame and the inner surface. Micropores were dominant in CDAC, contributing toward a high specific surface area (> 3500 m2/g) and a hierarchical pore structure owing to the cell walls. Consequently, CDAC exhibited a high CO2 adsorption capacity (13.41 mmol/g at 10 atm and room temperature) and afforded high specific capacitance (142 F/g) and rate capability (retention ratio: 91.5%) in supercapacitors. Compared with woody- and herbaceous-biomass-derived activated carbons, CDAC has a superior specific surface area when the precursors are used without any pretreatment under the same conditions due to their soft components such as lipids and proteins. Furthermore, developing microalgae into high-value-added products is beneficial from both economic and environmental perspectives.
For electrodes in electrochemical double-layer capacitors, carbon nanofibers (CNFs) were prepared by thermal treatment of precursor polymer nanofibers, fabricated by electrospinning. Poly(acrylonitrile-co-vinylimidazole) (PAV) was employed as a precursor polymer of carbon nanofibers due to the effective cyclization of PAV polymer chains during thermal treatment compared to a typical precursor, polyacrylonitrile (PAN). PAV solutions with different comonomer compositions were prepared and electrospun to produce precursor nanofibers. Surface images obtained from scanning electron microscopy showed that their nanofibrous structure was well preserved after carbonization. It was also confirmed that electrospun PAV nanofibers were successfully converted to carbon nanofibers after the carbonization step by Raman spectroscopy. Carbon nanofiber electrodes derived from PAV showed higher specific capacitances and energy/power densities than those from PAN, which was tested by coin-type cells. It was also shown that PAV with an acrylonitrile/vinylimidazole composition of 83:17 is most promising for the carbon nanofiber precursor exhibiting a specific capacitance of 114 F/g. Their energy and power density are 70.1 Wh/kg at 1 A/g and 9.5 W/kg at 6 A/g, respectively. In addition, pouch cells were assembled to load the higher amount of electrode materials in the cells, and a box-like cyclic voltammetry was obtained with high capacitances.
This study provides an economical and effective method to improve the interlaminar properties of carbon fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRPs) using aluminum trihydroxide (ATH) microparticles. ATH microparticles are cheap and are expected to show good affinity to epoxies in the matrix and sizing agents of the carbon fibers owing to the presence of three hydroxyl groups. In addition, ATH particles are reported to improve the mechanical properties of polymers when used as the reinforcement. In this study, ATH microparticles of various sizes, 1.5, 10, and 20 μm, were used to improve the interlaminar properties of the CFRPs. ATH particles with a size of 1.5 μm improved the tensile properties of the ATH/epoxy resin and did not significantly alter the curing behavior. The interfacial adhesion between the carbon fiber and the epoxy resin was also improved, and the impregnation of the resin mixture remained similar to that of the neat resin, resulting in no significant void and defect formation. Considering the above results, the resulting 1.5 μm ATH-reinforced CFRP showed improved interlaminar properties compared to CFRP without ATH. However, 10 and 20 μm ATH-reinforced CFRPs showed deteriorated interlaminar properties due to the diminished tensile properties of the resin itself and resin impregnation, which resulted in more voids and defects, despite the interfacial adhesion between the fiber and the matrix resin.
Pitch precursors affording excellent spinnability, high-level oxidation-resistance, and good carbonization yields were prepared by bromination–dehydrobromination of various ratios of pyrolyzed fuel oil and coal tar pitch. The pitches exhibited spinnabilities that were much better than those of pitches prepared via simple distillation. A pitch prepared using a 1:2 ratio of fuel oil and coal tar pitch exhibited the best tensile strength. Pitch fibers of diameter 8.9 ± 0.1 μm were stabilized at 270 °C without soaking time after heating at a rate of 0.5 °C/min and carbonized at 1100 °C for 1 h after heating at 5 °C/min. The resulting carbon fibers exhibited a tensile strength, elongation, Young’s modulus, and average diameter of 1700 ± 170 MPa, 1.6 ± 0.1%, 106 ± 37 GPa, and 7.1 ± 0.2 μm, respectively.
The mesophase pith was synthesized based on effects of a high-pressure thermal condensation and feed (PFO/FCC-DO) blending. The reaction conditions were designed by fluidity and reactivity of each feed during the thermal reaction. The high-pressure thermal condensation process disturbs distillation of the volatile compounds in pyrolysis fuel oil (PFO); the fluidity can be controlled. In the blending process, PFO, which has a high thermal condensation reactivity, and fluid catalytic cracking-decant oil (FCC-DO), which maintains fluidity, interacted with a synergistic effect. Thus, mesophase pitch with a large mesophase content was manufactured by the two above processes.