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Tiny dents in the surface of graphene greatly enhances its potential as a supercapacitor. Even better, it can be made from carbon dioxide.

A material scientist at Michigan Technological University invented a novel approach to take carbon dioxide and turn it into 3-D graphene with micropores across its surface. The process is the focus of a new study published in the American Chemical Society's Applied Materials & Interfaces.

The conversion of carbon dioxide to useful materials usually requires high energy input due to its ultrahigh stability. However, materials science professor Yun Hang Hu and his research team created a heat-releasing reaction between carbon dioxide and sodium to synthesize 3-D surface-microporous graphene.

"3-D surface-microporous graphene is a brand-new material," Hu says, explaining the material's surface is pockmarked with micropores and folds into larger mesopores, which both increase the surface area available for adsorption of electrolyte ions. "It would be an excellent electrode material for energy storage devices."

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