Green Carbon Nanofiber Networks for Advanced Energy Storage

Energy storage devices such as supercapacitors of high performance are in great need due to the continuous expansion of digitalization and related devices for mobile electronics, autonomous sensors, and vehicles of different kinds. However, the nonrenewable resources and often complex preparation processes associated with electrode materials and structures pose limited scale-up in production and difficulties in versatile utilization of the devices. Here, free-standing and flexible carbon nanofiber networks derived from renewable and abundant bioresources are demonstrated. By a simple optimization of carbonization, the carbon nanofiber networks reach a large surface area of 1670 m² g–1 and excellent specific gravimetric capacitance of ∼240 F g–1, outperforming many other nanostructured carbon, activated carbon, and even those decorated with metal oxides. The remarkable electrochemical performance and flexibility of the green carbon networks enable an all-solid-state supercapacitor device, which displays a device capacitance of 60.4 F g–1 with a corresponding gravimetric energy density of 8.4 Wh kg–1 while maintaining good mechanical properties.