RSC Adv. 2022 Jul 13;12(31):20305-20318. doi: 10.1039/d2ra03205h. eCollection 2022 Jul 6.
Pinecone-based biomass carbon (PC) is a potential anode material for potassium-ion batteries because it is abundant, cheap, renewable, and easy to obtain. However, because of inferior kinetics and the effects of volume expansion due to the large radius of the K+ ion, it does not meet commercial performance requirements. In this study, nitrogen-doped PC (NPC) was prepared by carbonization in molten ZnCl2 with urea as a nitrogen source. A strategy based on synergistic effects between N doping and ZnCl2 molten salt was used to produce a hierarchically porous pie-like NPC with abundant defects and active sites and an enlarged interlayer distance-properties that enhance K+ adsorption, promote K+ intercalation/diffusion, and reduce the effects of volume expansion. This NPC exhibited a high reversible capacity (283 mA h g-1 at 50 mA g-1) and superior rate performance and cyclic stability (110 mA h g-1 after 1000 cycles at 5 A g-1), demonstrating its potential for use in potassium-ion batteries.