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Creators/Authors contains: "Hu, Yun Hang"

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  1. Abstract

    Large numbers of leaves fall on the earth each autumn. The current treatments of dead leaves mainly involve completely destroying the biocomponents, which causes considerable energy consumption and environmental issues. It remains a challenge to convert waste leaves into useful materials without breaking down their biocomponents. Here, we turn red maple dead leaves into an active three-component multifunctional material by exploiting the role of whewellite biomineral for binding lignin and cellulose. Owing to its intense optical absorption spanning the full solar spectrum and the heterogeneous architecture for effective charge separation, films of this material show high performance in solar water evaporation, photocatalytic hydrogen production, and photocatalytic degradation of antibiotics. Furthermore, it also acts as a bioplastic with high mechanical strength, high-temperature tolerance, and biodegradable features. These findings pave the way for the efficient utilization of waste biomass and innovations of advanced materials.

  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  3. Highly efficient capacitive deionization (CDI) relies on unimpeded transport of salt ions to the electrode surface. Graphene is an ideal candidate to provide superb conditions for ion adsorption as it possesses high theoretical surface area and electrical conductivity. When ions are stored solely within the electric double layers (EDLs), a hydrophilic graphene surface with hierarchical pores can maximize the accessible surface area and promote the ion transport. In the case of synergistic ion storage via electrostatic adsorption and faradaic redox reaction, graphene can act as both the electron highway and the reciprocal spacer to provide surface-confined effects. Substantially, structural and chemical engineering towards graphene can enhance the ion removal capacity and rate, and improve the charge efficiency and ion selectivity. In this review, we keep pace with the in-depth studies of CDI technologies and recent progress on graphene-based materials for CDI. Major challenges in the rational assembly of the desired material functionalities in terms of surface area, pore structure, and hydrophilicity are addressed. As electrode materials develop, the ultimate goal is to achieve highly efficient, energy-saving, and environment-friendly CDI.