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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

First Advisor

Qi Hau Fan

Second Advisor

David Galiqeau


The most frequently used carbon material for supercapacitors are graphene, carbon nanotubes and activated carbon. Due to their high cost, low cost biochar is being seen as the potential replacement. The fabrication of biochar supercapacitors is usually done by hydraulic press method which is a lengthy process. Although electrophoretic deposition is common for carbon nanotubes and graphene, there are no reports on stable biochar supercapacitors using this method. There is a need for a fast and efficient activated biochar deposition technique for supercapacitor electrodes and to improve the specific capacitance of commercially-available chemically-activated biochar. The objectives of this work were to develop electrophoretic deposition technique for activated biochar and to increase its surface area by plasma treatment. Electrophoretic deposition is used to deposit charged particles in a liquid medium onto an electrode by an electric field while plasma treatment uses reactive ions to create pores on a carbon surface. In this work, activated coconut biochar was deposited by electrophoretic deposition and treated with methane and oxygen plasmas. Ethyl cellulose as a binder provided good adhesion of the biochar to metal substrates. Electrophoretic deposition produced higher specific capacitance, 135 F g-1 versus 100 F g-1 by hydraulic press method. Plasma treatment increased the capacitance further to 150 F g-1. This is the first report of the electrophoretic xiii deposition of biochar for supercapacitor electrodes and methane and oxygen plasma treatment of coconut biochar.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Electrophoretic deposition
Electrodes, Carbon


Includes bibliographical references (pages 87-90)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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