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APPROVAL SHEET

This thesis entitled UTILIZATION OF CIGARETTE BUTTS AS A NITROGEN-DOPED


CARBON MATERIAL FOR SUPERCAPACITOR ELECTRODE prepared and
submitted by DE TORRES, ANGELICA M., ILAG, JANELLA*JANE R., AND MALLARI,
DONNA JOY R., in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of
Science in Chemical Engineering, has been examined and is recommended for
approval and acceptance for Oral Examination

__________________________________
ENGR. JO-MARIE T. LLAMOSO
Adviser

Approved by the panel on the Oral Examination with grade of _______________.


PANEL OF EXAMINEES
__________________________
Dr. Erma B. Quinay
Chairman

_________________________
Engr. Mary Rose F. Persincula
Member

________________________
Engr. Rejie C. Magnaye
Member

Accepted and approved in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering.

February 2016
Date

____________________________
DR. ELISA D. GUTIEREZ
DEAN, CEAFA
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We, the researchers, want to extend our deepest gratitude to the following who
have helped us in the accomplishment of this study:
To our beloved Mame, Inay and Tatay for their moral, financial and emotional
support all throughout our study;
To Sir Nelson Tumibay of Metals Industry Research and Development
Center, Bicutan, Taguig City, for letting us utilize their equipment for the carbonization
process.
To Metallurgical, Mining and Materials Engineering Department, especially to
Maam

Joanne

Villarias

who

assisted

the

researcher

in

determining

the

physicochemical properties of the carbon-based material.


To our Friends and Classmates in helping us collect raw materials and for
always being there to cheer us up when we are feeling down and hopeless.
To Engr. Jo-mhae Llamoso for sharing, teaching and learning together all the
new things that this thesis has brought up from the start to this very end;
And above all these, to our God Almighty, for giving us the strength and wisdom
to whatever we had through all those restless nights and untiring days.

THE RESEARCHERS
DEDICATION

After Your Season of Suffering,


God in All His Grace Will
Restore, Confirm, Strengthen and Establish You.
1Peter 5:10

To our dear parents,


To our brothers and sisters,
To our friends and special someone,
To those who believed in the richness of wisdom
and most especially to our Almighty God,

This one is for you

Angel
Janella
Donna

ABSTRACT

Title: UTILIZATION OF CIGARETTE BUTTS AS A NITROGEN-DOPED CARBON


MATERIAL FOR SUPERCAPACITOR ELECTRODE
Authors:

De Torres, Angelica M.
Ilag, Janella*Jane R.
Mallari, Donna Joy R.

Adviser:

Engr. Jo-Marie Llamoso

Type of Document:

Undergraduate Thesis

Name and Address of Institution:

Batangas State University


Alangilan, Batangas City

SUMMARY
Cigarette smoking is not just a health problem, but a major environmental issue
as well. Trillions of cigarette butts a year get tossed out, often on the ground, where they
cause fires, get ingested by animals and leach chemicals into the ground and water.
This has been a growing problem throughout the years, though cigarette butts are
small, when they are carelessly dropped to the ground instead of disposing it properly,
their litter has a big effect. Numerous researches were done in transforming this
cigarette butts as a solution to human-challenging issues, environmental and energy
problem.
Nowadays, supercapacitors are attracting attention as an energy storage system.
They are of considerable interest in various applications, such as electrical vehicles,
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micro sensors and portable electronic. For such numerous applications, it is important to
develop an advanced generation of supercapacitors that have the capability to supply
high levels of power and energy. Therefore, the selection of the proper electrode
material is one of the most important parameters in improving the performance of
supercapacitors. Moreover, this electrode material could be found in your ashtray.
Transforming cigarette butts into supercapacitor electrode could reduce environmental
burden of cigarette butts while lowering the manufacturing cost of high quality carbon .
The study primarily aims to utilize cigarette butts as a component for
supercapacitor electrode.
Specifically, it sought to answer the following questions:
1. What are the physicochemical properties of the nitrogen-doped carbon material from
cigarette butts in terms of:
1.1. pore size,
1.2. pore volume,
1.3. surface area,
1.4. surface morphology, and
1.5. particle size?
2. What are the different electrochemical properties of the supercapacitor electrode
coated with nitrogen-doped carbon material from cigarette butts in terms of the following
parameters:
2.1. voltage,
2.2. specific capacitance,
2.3. current density, and
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2.4. power density?


3. Is there a significant difference in the above mentioned electrochemical properties
between the supercapacitor electrode coated with nitrogen-doped carbon from cigarette
butts and the commercially available graphene-based supercapacitor electrode?
This study utilized the experimental method of research and focused on the
utilization of cigarette butts as a nitrogen-doped carbon material for supercapacitor
electrode.
Cigarette butts were collected and gathered from the localities of the researcher
particularly from San Jose Sico, Batangas City, Maapaz, Batangas City and Talumpok,
Batangas City. The used and unwrapped cigarette filters/butts of different cigarette
brand were thoroughly mixed together. It was then pyrolyzed in which the carbonization
parameters (i.e. pyrolysis temperature, hold time and heating rate) were not varied; a
single type of nitrogen doped carbon based material from cigarette butts were
produced. The nitrogen flow into the furnace was provided by a nitrogen tank placed
next to the furnace.

The obtained nitrogen-doped carbon were removed from the

furnace, ground and sieved to a mesh size of 80 to represent carbon in its powdered
state and then washed several times with hot distilled water and dried for 24 h in an
oven at 110 C. The nitrogen-doped carbon material produced from pyrolysis of
cigarette butts were used to coat the supercapacitor electrode. The nitrogen-doped
carbon material was mixed with epoxy resin which served as a binder. The mixture was
spread out and coated onto 5cm3cm aluminum plate as the current collector. After
coating the electrode materials, the working electrode were pressed and dried in a

vacuum at 120 C for 12 h. Tissue paper were used as separator and were soaked in to
1M aqueous solution of H2SO4.
Prior to production of supercapacitor electrode, the nitrogen-doped carbon
material derived from pyrolysis of cigarette butts was first subjected to analysis of its
physichochemical properties. The Physicochemical properties of carbon-based material
were determined using analytical methods. Brunauer, Emmett and Teller (BET) Analysis
was used to determine the pore size, pore volume and surface area of the carbon.
Particle Size Analysis for particle size and Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy
(FESEM) Imaging Analysis for surface morphology.
The prepared supercapacitor electrode coated with nitrogen-doped carbon
material from cigarette butts was connected into a digital multi tester to record its
voltage and current simultaneously. Measuring this value, electrochemical properties in
terms of specific capacitance, current density and power density was calculated.
One sample T-test was used to analyze if there is a significant difference on the
electrochemical properties of the supercapacitor electrode as compared to the
commercially available graphene-based supercapacitor electrode.
During the experimental method of the study, the researchers had the following
findings:
1. The nitrogen-doped carbon material derived from pyrolysis of cigarette butts was
first subjected to analysis of its physichochemical properties prior to production of
supercapacitor electrode. The nitrogen-doped carbon-based material from
cigarette butts has a pore size of 2.15 nm. A pore volume of 0.622532 cm 3/g is
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obtained.

Its Brunauer, Emmett and Teller (BET) surface area is 304 m2/g.

Particle Size Analyzer finding of average particle size diameter was 23582.8 nm.
2. Measuring the voltage, current and resistance of the prepared supercapacitor
electrode using digital multi tester, the specific capacitance, current density and
power density was then calculated. The obtained voltage and specific
capacitance of the carbon-based material is 6.3 V and 194.05 F/g respectively.
Current density and power density obtained from carbon-based material is 48.1
A/g and 142.42 W/kg respectively.
3. The p-values obtained for voltage, specific capacitance, current density and
power density are 0.081, 0.03, 0.08 and 0.78, respectively. The p-values are
tested at 0.05 level of significance. Only the specific capacitance has a lower
value of p-value compared to level of significance which indicates a significant
difference between the prepared supercapacitor electrode and the commercially
available graphene-based supercapacitor electrode.

CONCLUSIONS
1. Overall, the results obtained proved that the produced nitrogen- doped carbon
derived from pyrolysis of cigarette butts has good porosity characteristics that
can provide efficient ion transfer.
2. From the, electrochemical measurement obtained, it was suggested that the
porosity characteristics of the nitrogen doped carbon material from cigarette butts
strongly favor immediate electron and ion transmission. The pseudocapacitive
interactions between the electrolyte ions and the nitrogen dopants, as the result

of nitrogen doping for the nitrogen-doped carbon material from cigarette butts,
leads to an increase in specific capacitance.
3. After treatment, a significant difference on the specific capacitance of the
supercapacitor electrode coated with nitrogen-doped carbon from pyrolysis of
cigarette butts and commercially available graphene-based supercapacitor
electrode was observed. In terms of voltage, current density and power density of
the supercapacitor electrode coated with nitrogen-doped carbon from pyrolysis of
cigarette butts and commercially available graphene-based supercapacitor
electrode, there were no significant difference observed. The nitrogen doped
carbon supercapacitor electrode could be a potential substitute for the graphene
based supercapacitor electrode.

RECOMMENDATIONS
The following are the recommendations that can be considered by the future
researchers:
1 Since the researchers did not consider pretreatment process, future researcher
can consider having pretreatment process for cigarette filters for better surface
enhancement and availability of binding sites to ions; subsequently enhancing
the capacitive performance of supercapacitor.
2 Varying different parameter conditions for temperature, heating rate and holding
time and also using different brand of cigarette filter can be considered.
3 A further study can potentially utilize other methods to increase the surface area
of the Nitrogen-doped carbon, chemically or physically. This will possibly improve
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the degree of porosity in the carbon. The carbonization parameters can be


further adjusted and studied to produce a more uniform and more ordered
mesophorous carbon material.
4 It is also suggested to have a different way on assembling the supercapacitor
electrode.

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