A novel source of ultrahigh surface area carbons – fizzy drinks (study)

“Ultrahigh surface area carbons (USACs, e.g., >2000 m2/g) are attracting tremendous attention due to their outstanding performance in energy-related applications.”

Observations such as this have lead to the search for an easy and cheap method of producing these materials – which find uses like supercapacitor electrodes, catalyst supports, and gas sorbents etc etc. A research team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the University of Tennessee, (Pengfei Zhang, Zhiyong Zhang, Jihua Chen and Sheng Dai) have, between them, developed just such a method. Their study, describing the process in detail, is published in the specialist journal Carbon, Volume 93, November 2015, Pages 39–47, and is entitled ‘Ultrahigh surface area carbon from carbonated beverages: Combining self-templating process and in situ activation’

“This promising process provides an exceptional route to highly porous carbon materials.”

– say the team, noting that Coca Cola®, Pepsi Cola®, Dr. Pepper®, and Fanta® all perform rather well.

The paper may be found in full here

Note that the 2009 Ig Nobel Chemistry prize was awarded to Javier Morales, Miguel Apátiga, and Victor M. Castaño of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, for creating diamonds from liquid — specifically from tequila.

REFERENCE: “Growth of Diamond Films from Tequila,” Javier Morales, Miguel Apatiga and Victor M. Castano, 2008, arXiv:0806.1485. Also published as Reviews on Advanced Materials Science, vol. 22, no. 1, 2009, pp. 134-8.