Recent advances in dual-carbon based electrochemical energy storage devices

Ruilin Hou, Bao Liu, Yinglun Sun, Lingyang Liu, Jianing Meng, Mikhael D. Levi, Hengxing Ji, Xingbin Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Dual-carbon based rechargeable batteries and supercapacitors are promising electrochemical energy storage devices because their characteristics of good safety, low cost and environmental friendliness. Herein, we extend the concept of dual-carbon devices to the energy storage devices using carbon materials as active materials in both anode and cathode, and offer a real-time and overall review of the representative research progress concerning such generalized dual-carbon devices. In this review, the charge storage mechanisms of various ions on different carbonaceous electrodes are introduced at first. Then, the research progress and problems of dual-carbon devices based on four types of charge-storage mechanisms including “adsorption-adsorption”, “adsorption-intercalation”, “intercalation-adsorption” and “intercalation-intercalation” are systematically discussed. Finally, prospects for future research directions and challenges of the dual-carbon devices are presented, and some new insights are proposed as well.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104728
JournalNano Energy
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Energy shortages and environmental pollution are currently the most severe challenges for mankind's survival [1–5]. Developing clean renewable energy is a very promising approach to alleviate the above problems, but the intermittent and diffuse natures of energy delivery strongly require advanced energy storage technologies to store the superfluous energy for intensive usage [1,2, 6–8]. Rechargeable electrochemical energy storage (EES) devices, such as lead (Pb)–acid batteries, lithium-ion based batteries, nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) and nickel-cadmium (Ni–Cd) batteries, flow batteries, and so on, are the most efficient and feasible storage solutions [4,9,10]. In particular, driving by the policies of many countries to develop clean energy, the productivity of EES devices is also exponentially increasing. It was estimated that the global battery market will exceed $100 billion by 2025 [11]. Among them, Pb-acid batteries have the largest market share due to their low cost and reliable performance [12]. And lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) global market will be also worth over $32 billion by 2020 and have the highest growth rate of all rechargeable battery type [13]. As a result, problems such as high battery production costs and pollution of used batteries have become more prominent. In most of rechargeable batteries, the electrode materials contain heavy metal elements, including nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co), and lead (Pb), which are all classified as cancerogenic and mutagenic materials by World Health Organization (WHO) [14]. As shown in Fig. 1a, the metals in the batteries are non-renewable resources, and excessive use will inevitably lead to resource depletion and rising prices [10]. Also, it is expected that the lithium supply vs. demand balance will be broken by 2050 because the consumption of lithium will reach 1/3 of the total reserves of lithium on land as shown in Fig. 1b [15]. Although a series of low-cost rechargeable batteries, including alkali metal (sodium/potassium) ion batteries [16–19], multivalent metal (calium, magnesium, aluminum, zinc) batteries [20–24] and their corresponding aqueous batteries [25,26], have been widely studies as alternatives to traditional lithium-ion based batteries, but they still have many disadvantages compared to dual-carbon devices. Specifically, one, the synthesis of positive electrode materials of above batteries involves the above-mentioned high-cost elements and their development is not yet mature. Two, the high anodic energy storage potential is not conducive to obtain a wide voltage window for device. Three, the inherent narrow electrochemical window of aqueous electrolytes also largely limits their energy density. Therefore, seeking green, low-cost and high-capacity electrode materials is critical to develop environmentally friendly EES devices for the need of the future electric-power-supported intelligent society.In summary, dual-carbon device, as low cost, environmental friendly EES system, is a very promising candidate for the demand of the world's modern electricity-based society. In this review, we defined the concept of generalized dual-carbon devices for the first time, namely the EES devices using carbon materials as active materials in both anode and cathode. Then the ion-storage mechanisms of cation or anion in the carbonaceous materials were introduced systematically including ion-adsorption and ion-intercalation, whose various performances are also summarized and compared in Fig. 18a. We paid great attention to clarifying the classification of the dual-carbon devices according to their energy storage mechanisms and focused on their own research progress, development bottlenecks and corresponding solutions strategies. In addition, the performance characteristics of four types of dual-carbon devices were elaborated and summarized in Fig. 18b. Taking into account the correlation of the parameters listed in Fig. 18, the electrochemical performance of the dual-carbon devices is largely determined by the ion storage mechanism on each electrode, which has great significance for designing the EES devices with different performance features in the future. In short, this review is beneficial for the development and application of the green low-cost EES device for the demand of the future electric-power-supported intelligent society.This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21573265, 21673263 and 21805292), One-Three-Five Strategic Planning of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and the DNL Cooperation Fund, CAS (DNL180307).

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 21573265 , 21673263 and 21805292 ), One-Three-Five Strategic Planning of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) , and the DNL Cooperation Fund, CAS ( DNL180307 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Carbon materials
  • Dual-carbon devices
  • Dual-ion batteries
  • Hybrid capacitors
  • Supercapacitors


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