Zeolite templated carbons: investigations in extreme temperature electrochemical capacitors and lead-acid batteries
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Porous carbons are versatile materials with applications in different fields. They are used in filtration, separation and sequestration of fluids and gases, as conductive additives in many energy storage materials, as coloring agents, as pharmaceutical and food additives, and in many other vital technologies. Porous carbons produced by pyrolysis and activation of organic precursors commonly suffer from poorly controlled morphology, microstructure, chemistry, and pore structure. In addition, the poorly controlled parameters of porous carbons make it challenging to elucidate the underlying key physical parameters controlling their performance in energy storage devices, including electrochemical capacitors (ECs) and lead-acid batteries (LABs). Zeolite-templated carbons (ZTCs) are a novel class of porous carbon materials with uniform and controllable pore size, microstructure, morphology, and chemistry. In spite of their attractive properties, they have never been explored for use in LABs and their studies for ECs have been very limited. Here I report a systematic study of ZTCs applications in ECs operating at temperatures as low as - 70 C and in LABs. Greatly improved power and energy performance, compared to state of the art devices, has been demonstrated in the investigated ECs. Moreover, the application of ZTCs in LABs has resulted in a dramatic enhancement of their cycle life and power and energy densities.