科學家搜集了萬寶路淺金色、韓國Bohem Cigar Mojito雪茄和韓國煙草人參公司The One Orange的菸屁股進行實驗，將這些香菸在含氬氣和NH3（一種無色、味道刺鼻的氮氫氣體）的空氣中熱解兩小時，產生的碳基材料含有微小奈米孔隙和中型奈米孔隙，改善了其超級電容的特性。
How can used cigarette butts contribute to the development of superior electric vehicles? South Korean researchers have found a way.
Five scientists from Seoul National University’s College of Engineering have converted used cigarette filters into a high-performing material for supercapacitors that could be integrated into electric vehicles to store energy.
Unlike batteries that offer limited charging/discharging rates, supercapacitors require only seconds to charge and can feed electricity back into the vehicle’s air-conditioning system, GPS, radio, and other devices as needed.
Publishing their findings August 5 in the Institute of Physics Publishing’s journal “Nanotechnology,” the scientists say they have demonstrated the material’s superior performance compared to commercially available carbon, graphene and carbon nanotubes.
They hope the material derived from cigarette butts can be used to coat the electrodes of supercapacitors while also offering a solution to the growing environmental problem caused by trillions of used cigarettes filters discarded annually.
It is estimated that as many as 5.6 trillion used-cigarettes, or 766,571 metric tons, are deposited into the environment worldwide every year.
Scientists around the world are currently working towards improving the characteristics of supercapacitors, such as energy density, power density and cycle stability, while reducing production costs.
As compared to the basic electrostatic capacitor used to tune radio frequencies, the supercapacitor is ideal for energy storage that undergoes frequent charge and discharge cycles at high current and short duration.
Carbon is the most popular material that supercapacitors are made of, due to its low cost, high surface area, high electrical conductivity and long-term stability.
In their study, the Seoul researchers demonstrated that the cellulose acetate fibers of which cigarette filters are made could be transformed into a carbon-based material using a simple, one-step burning technique called pyrolysis, conducted in a nitrogen-rich environment.
Used cigarette filters from Marlboro Light Gold, Bohem Cigar Mojito and The One Orange from the Korea Tobacco & Ginseng Corp. were collected.
They were pyrolyzed for two hours in an atmosphere of argon and NH3, a colorless, pungent gas composed of nitrogen and hydrogen.
The carbon-based material resulting from this burning process contained both tiny nano-pores and medium-sized nano-pores, increasing its performance as a supercapacitive material.
“A high-performing supercapacitor material should have a large surface area, which can be achieved by incorporating a large number of small pores into the material,” said co-author Professor Jongheop Yi.
“A combination of different pore sizes ensures that the material has high power densities, which is an essential property in a supercapacitor for the fast charging and discharging,” he said.
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