New strategy to prepare ultramicroporous carbon by ionic activation for superior CO2 capture

Zhen Liu, Zhen Zhang, Zhijiao Jia, Liang Zhao, Tingting Zhang, Wei Xing, Sridhar Komarneni, Fazle Subhan, Zifeng Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Traditional chemical activation methods to prepare porous carbons adsorbents consume large amounts of activating agent through physical mixing. Herein, we developed a new strategy to prepare microporous carbons with uniform ultramicropores (∼0.57 nm) through ionic activation method by using potassium carboxylate as an activating agent, which was uniformly incorporated onto the surface of hydrothermally prepared hydrochar. The ultramicroporous carbon adsorbent developed by this new method showed high CO2 uptakes of 5.87 and 3.82 mmol g−1 at 0 and 25 °C, respectively. We demonstrated that small amounts of uniformly distributed potassium carboxylate contributed to the development of ultramicroporosity. This research paves the way for a new route to prepare ultramicroporous carbons as efficient CO2 adsorbents by using significantly lower amounts of activating agents and hence the process may be not only cost-effective but also avoids negative impacts of traditional chemical activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-299
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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