Plasma-Derived Graphene-Based Materials for Water Purification and Energy Storage
SourceC — Journal of Carbon Research
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Several crucial problems, such as rapid population growth and extended demands for food, water and fuels, could lead to a severe lack of clean water and an energy crisis in the coming decade. Therefore, low-cost and highly-efficient technologies related to filtration of alternative water supplies (e.g., purification of wastewater and water-rich liquids) and advanced energy storage (e.g., supercapacitors) could play a crucial role to overcome such challenges. A promising class of solid materials for these purposes is exfoliated graphene, and more specifically, its nanoporous forms that exhibit large specific surface areas and pore volumes. In the current work, two plasma-exfoliated graphene-based materials with distinctive morphological and porosity features, including non-porous and low-specific surface area platelets versus nanoporous and high-specific surface area flakes, were tested as filters for water purification purposes (i.e., decolourization and deacidification) and as electrodes for supercapacitors (i.e., ion electrosorption). The findings of this study suggest that a nanoporous and large specific surface area graphene-based material promotes the water purification behaviour by removing contaminants from water-based solutions as well as the energy storage performance by confining ions of aqueous electrolytes.