Hydrothermally treated aminated tannin as precursor of N-doped carbon gels for supercapacitors
Abstract Aminated tannin submitted to hydrothermal treatment led to nitrogen-doped gels in the absence of any cross-linker. Such gels were subcritically dried, freeze-dried or supercritically dried to obtain organic xerogels, cryogels and aerogels, respectively, having nitrogen contents between 3.0 and 3.7 wt.%. After pyrolysis at 900 °C, the materials presented nitrogen contents ranging from 1.9 to 3.0 wt.%, and surface areas as high as 860, 754 and 585 m 2 g −1 for carbon aerogels, cryogels and xerogels, respectively. All of them displayed micropores associated with different mesopore volumes, depending on both the drying method and initial dilution of the precursor. When tested as supercapacitor electrodes, these carbon gels presented outstanding specific and normalised capacitances, up to 387.6 F g −1 and 69.5 μF cm −2 , respectively, at a scan rate of 2 mV s −1 in 4 mol L −1 H 2 SO 4 aqueous solution. These performances are higher than those obtained with high apparent surface area-activated carbons, as the measured capacitances are indeed among the highest ever reported. The influence of nitrogen- and oxygen-based moieties was investigated, and optimal N and O contents of 2–3 and 17–18 wt.%, respectively, were observed.