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Document Type

Dissertation - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

First Advisor

Zhengrong Gu


As worldwide reserves of fossil fuel decrease and the price increase. Biomass is attracting more and more researchers as one of the many energy sources. Burning biomass is an old and simplest way to use the biomass as the energy source. However, the energy efficiency is quite low. Therefore, pyrolysis and gasification have been developed to produce high-value products with high energy efficiency. During the processes, the solid material, which is mostly biochar, can be further treated to achieve high quality activated carbon or even porous graphene. The activated carbon and porous graphene are excellent candidates for the application of supercapacitors. The dissertation studied several different biochar as feedstock for generating high quality activated carbon and porous graphene. The key objective was to obtain high performance electrode material for supercapacitors. DDGS presented excellent properties. Based on the physical properties, a hierarchical carbon, with high specific surface area (2684 m2 g−1) and high mesoporous volume (1.65 cm3 g−1) was used to assemble supercapcitor. The results shown that high specific capacitance 325 F g−1 in 6 mol L−1 KOH at a current density of 0.1A g−1, while the specific capacitance still exhibits relative high (293 F g−1) at a higher current density (1A g−1) after 10000 cycles.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Electrodes, Carbon
Plant biomass
Andropogon furcatus
Corn stover
Distillers feeds


Includes bibliographical references (pages 136-161)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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