Hydrothermal Synthesis and Characterization of Fluorescent Carbon-Based Materials Produced by Hydrogen Peroxide Oxidation of Biochar

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Chemistry


Department of Chemistry


Advisor: Garry Crosson


Biochar can be made through the combustion of any biomass in an oxygen deprived environment. In this study, fluorescent, carbon-based particles were hydrothermally synthesized in a efficient manner from 3 different biomass sources. The particles were subsequently characterized with Infrared, Dynamic Light Scattering, Ultraviolet-Visible, Fluorescence, and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopic methods. The spectroscopic results indicated that the particles are composed of a conjugated carbon lattice with nitrogen and carbon-oxygen functional groups. The use of an economical synthesis makes this compelling as a research focus. All 3 biochar-based carbon particles exhibit similar strong fluorescent behavior when excited by light in the ultra-violet to near visible range, with light emission occurring in the visible region approximately 400-600nm with an emission maximum in the 430-450nm region. The physical and fluorescence characteristics of these particles makes them an excellent candidate for future research into a safe, green, cost-effective medical or pollutant sensor.


Chemistry, biochar, chemistry, hydrothermal, synthesis, characterization fluorescence, green, agglomerations, quenching, hydrogen peroxide, potassium iodide, SEM, heterogeneous, nanoscale, microscale, emission visible range, particles

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Copyright © 2020, author