Electronic Thesis/Dissertation


Multi-Layer Graphene Nanoshell Si and Ge Composites and Sustainable Graphite from Biomass for Li-ion Anodes Open Access

Smokeless pyrolysis of biomass to generate bio-oils is a nascent, albeit largely currently uneconomical, sustainable bio-energy technology. Biochar is an amorphous carbon-rich waste product of pyrolysis oil production. Turning this carbon waste into valuable carbon materials is desirable to make bio-oil economically competitive with fossil fuels, enabling market driven reduction of global CO2 emissions. The synthesis and characterization of two such value added carbon materials, graphite and multi-wall graphene nanoshells (MGNS), is presented in this thesis. Current graphite production is highly deleterious to the environment, whether obtained by mining natural deposits or by high-temperature heating of petroleum coke. In contrast, the novel photocatalytic conversion of biochar to high-purity, highly crystalline graphite is ecologically beneficial because it can be powered by a fraction of the net-zero emission electricity produced from its bio-oil co-product and graphite is an indefinitely stable carbon sequestration sink. Simple modification of the process results in MGNS which is also a net negative carbon sequestration material. The graphite and MGNS produced by this method are shown to be excellent anode materials for Li-ion batteries; the graphite is an inexpensive “drop in” replacement for commercial graphite currently used and MGNS is an alternative material for rapid charging and sub-ambient batteries, with exceptionally large energy density when made into a composite with Si or Ge nanomaterials.

Author Language Keyword
Date created Type of Work Rights statement GW Unit Degree Advisor Committee Member(s) Persistent URL

Notice to Authors

If you are the author of this work and you have any questions about the information on this page, please use the Contact form to get in touch with us.