3D graphene-like carbon structure evolution via microwave pyrolysis of hemp biomass: A feedstock-process-structure-property relationship study

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University of New Brunswick


Graphene, known for its exceptional properties, faces challenges in broad adoption due to high costs and limited yields, hindering its diverse applications. The utilization of unconventional feedstocks, such as hemp biomass, shows potential for creating a graphene-like carbon (GLC) structure – a close mimic of graphene with prospects for scaling up. This research combines the processing of 'petera' type lignocellulosic hemp biomass with high-temperature thermochemical treatment via microwave pyrolysis. Previous findings from a collaborative study between the UNB Nanocomposites and Mechanics Laboratory (NCM Lab) and the Bioenergy and Bioproducts Research Laboratory (BBRL) indicated a higher carbon fraction presence in hemp-processed biochar structures under medium-temperature microwave pyrolysis (up to 600°C). The current study distinguishes itself by optimizing material design and process conditions, targeting elevated pyrolysis temperatures. The research delves into the mapping of the GLC feedstock-process-structure-property relationship, providing insights into scaling up the results, requiring further process optimization towards industrial applications.