Hemp-derived activated carbons for supercapacitors

Wei Sun, Stephen M. Lipka, Christopher Swartz, David Williams, Fuqian Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


Activated carbons are prepared from raw hemp stem (hurd and bast) via hydrothermal processing and chemical activation. Both hemp bast and hemp hurd are converted into activated carbons of low-dimensional structures under certain experimental conditions. The experimental results show that hemp hurd is a better precursor than hemp bast for the preparation of activated carbons. The activated carbons are used to construct the electrodes of supercapacitor cells. The electrochemical performance of the activated carbons used in the supercapacitor cells is dependent on hydrothermal processing conditions and the mass ratio of KOH/biochar in the chemical activation. Excellent electrochemical performance metrics are achieved, including a specific capacitance of 160 F/g, and a high energy density of 19.8 Wh/kg at a power density of 21 kW/kg. Both the specific capacitance and capacitance retention increase with the increase of surface area and mesopore fraction. A simple relationship between the specific area capacitance and the fraction of micropores is proposed, via the rule of mixtures, and is supported by the experimental results. This relationship reveals the effect of the distribution of pore sizes on the specific area capacitance of electrochemical double layer capacitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-192
Number of pages12
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of NSF 1355438 Powering the Kentucky Bioeconomy for a Sustainable Future. FY is grateful for the financial support from the KSEF ( KSEF-148-502-15-341 ). We also thank Joanna Mroczkowska for conducting the surface area analysis.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Materials Science (all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Hemp-derived activated carbons for supercapacitors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this