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Carbon black reborn: Structure and chemistry for renewable energy harnessing
Carbon, Volume: 162, Pages: 604 - 649
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Carbon Black (CB) is one of the most abundantly produced carbon nanostructured materials, and approximately 70% of it is used as pigment and as reinforcing phase in rubber and plastics. Recent scientific findings report on other uses of CB that are of current interest, such as renewable energy harve...
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Carbon Black (CB) is one of the most abundantly produced carbon nanostructured materials, and approximately 70% of it is used as pigment and as reinforcing phase in rubber and plastics. Recent scientific findings report on other uses of CB that are of current interest, such as renewable energy harvesting and carbon capture. The present review focuses on the use and role of CB in renewable and environmental applications relevant to contemporary global challenges focusing specifically on clean energy. Key and recent research on the structure and chemistry of CB, including its uses as precursors to graphene quantum dots and hollow carbon spheres, is discussed in relation to renewable energy devices, electrochemical energy storage and environmental remediation. The surface chemistry of CB is closely related to that of graphitic and of turbostratic carbons through the predominant hexagonal carbon lattice from graphene fragments forming its basic structural units. Consequently, modern methods for grafting polymers and functional groups are easily translated to this abundant nanostructured material. Moreover, recent advances in electron microscopy that probe the structure of CB, and its electronic and physicochemical properties in nanocomposites revived the attention of what is wrongfully considered as a scientifically uninspiring material with limited potential for future technology breakthrough. CB has the potential to surge as a key player in renewable energy and environmental applications, meaning “When Black Turns Green”.