We have investigated the textural properties, electrochemical supercapacitances and vapor sensing performances of bamboo-derived nanoporous carbon materials (NCM). Bamboo, an abundant natural biomaterial, was chemically activated with phosphoric acid at 400 °C and the effect of impregnation ratio of phosphoric acid on the textural properties and electrochemical performances was systematically investigated. Fourier transform-infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy confirmed the presence of various oxygen-containing surface functional groups (i.e. carboxyl, carboxylate, carbonyl and phenolic groups) in NCM. The prepared NCM are amorphous in nature and contain hierarchical micropores and mesopores. Surface areas and pore volumes were found in the range 218-1431 m2 g-1 and 0.26-1.26 cm3 g-1, respectively, and could be controlled by adjusting the impregnation ratio of phosphoric acid and bamboo cane powder. NCM exhibited electrical double-layer supercapacitor behavior giving a high specific capacitance of c.256 F g-1 at a scan rate of 5 mV s-1 together with high cyclic stability with capacitance retention of about 92.6% after 1000 cycles. Furthermore, NCM exhibited excellent vapor sensing performance with high sensitivity for non-aromatic chemicals such as acetic acid. The system would be useful to discriminate C1 and C2 alcohol (methanol and ethanol).
Keywords: 102 Porous / Nanoporous / Nanostructured materials; 104 Carbon and related materials; 208 Sensors and actuators; 60 New topics/Others; Nanoporous carbon materials; alcohol discrimination; electrochemical properties; non-aromatic chemical sensing; vapor sensing.