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

Rights Statement

Copyright 2020, author