Scalable slot-die coated flexible supercapacitors from upcycled PET face shields

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Abstract

Upcycling Covid19 plastic waste into valuable carbonaceous materials for energy storage applications is a sustainable and green approach to minimize the burden of waste plastic on the environment. Herein, we developed a facile single step activation technique for producing activated carbon consisting of spherical flower like carbon nanosheets and amorphous porous flakes from used PET [poly(ethylene terephthalate)] face shields for supercapacitor applications. The as-obtained activated carbon exhibited a high specific surface area of 1571 m2 g−1 and pore volume of 1.64 cm3 g−1. The specific capacitance of these carbon nanostructure-coated stainless steel electrodes reached 228.2 F g−1 at 1 A g−1 current density with excellent charge transport features and good rate capability in 1 M Na2SO4 aqueous electrolyte. We explored the slot-die coating technique for large-area coatings of flexible high-performance activated carbon electrodes with special emphasis on optimizing binder concentration. Significant improvement in electrochemical performance was achieved for the electrodes with 15 wt% Nafion concentration. The flexible supercapacitors fabricated using these electrodes showed high energy and power density of 21.8 W h kg−1 and 20 600 W kg−1 respectively, and retained 96.2% of the initial capacitance after 10 000 cycles at 2 A g−1 current density. The present study provides a promising sustainable approach for upcycling PET plastic waste for large area printable supercapacitors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12781-12795
Number of pages15
JournalRSC Advances
Volume14
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • scalable slot-die coated flexible supercapacitors
  • supercapacitors
  • upcycling
  • PET face shields

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