Researchers report that wood-biochar supercapacitors can produce as much power as today’s activated-carbon supercapacitors at a fraction of the cost – and with environmentally friendly byproducts.
The report appears in the journal Electrochimica Acta.
“Supercapacitors are power devices very similar to our batteries,” said study leader Junhua Jiang, a senior research engineer at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center at the University of Illinois. While batteries rely on chemical reactions to produce sustained electrical energy, supercapacitors collect charged ions on their electrodes (in this case, the biochar), and quickly release those ions during discharge. This allows them to supply energy in short, powerful bursts – during a camera flash, for example, or in response to peak demand on the energy grid, Jiang said.
“Supercapacitors are ideal for applications needing instant power and can even provide constant power – like batteries, but at lower cost,” he said. They are useful in transportation, electronics and solar- and wind-power energy storage and distribution.
Many of today’s supercapacitors use activated carbon – usually from a fossil-fuel source, Jiang said.
“Costly and complicated procedures are normally used to develop the microstructures of the carbon – to increase the number of pores and optimize the pore network,” he said. “This increases the surface area of the electrode and the pores’ ability to rapidly capture and release the ions.”
In wood-biochar supercapacitors, the wood’s natural pore structure serves as the electrode surface, eliminating the need for advanced techniques to fabricate an elaborate pore structure. Wood biochar is produced by heating wood in low oxygen.
The pore sizes and configurations in some woods are ideal for fast ion transport, Jiang said. The new study used red cedar, but several other woods such as maple and cherry also work well.
Expensive and corrosive chemicals are often used to prepare the activated carbon used in supercapacitors, giving the electrodes the physical and chemical properties they need to function well, Jiang said.
“The use of those chemicals will probably impose some environmental impacts,” he said. “This should be avoided or at least substantially reduced.”
Jiang and his team activated their biochar with mild nitric acid, which washed away the ash (calcium carbonate, potassium carbonate and other impurities) in the biochar. The byproduct of this process has a beneficial use, Jiang said: The resulting solution of nitrate compounds can be used as fertilizer.
These simple approaches dramatically cut the material and environmental costs of assembling supercapacitors.
“The material costs of producing wood-biochar supercapacitors are five to 10 times lower than those associated with activated carbon,” Jiang said. And when a biochar supercapacitor has reached the end of its useful life, the electrodes can be crushed and used as an organic soil amendment that increases fertility.
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Alternative to nitrogen: Oxygen plasma can improve the properties of electrode materialson June 25, 2020 at 10:00 am
A group of scientists from Skoltech and Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) showed that nitrogen is not the only element that can help enhance the specific capacitance of supercapacitors.
- Global Automotive Supercapacitors Market 2020 Industry Emerging Trend, Market Players, Revenue Insights to 2026on June 25, 2020 at 12:48 am
Jun 25, 2020 (Profound via COMTEX) -- The report provides rational insights along with historical and forecast data to aid in better understanding of the Global Automotive Supercapacitors Market.
- Micro-Supercapacitors Market 2020 Revenue Status, Demand and Outlook- Nanotech Energy, Maxwell, Panasonic, VINATech, Cornell Dubilier Electronicson June 23, 2020 at 9:43 pm
The report presents the market competitive landscape and a corresponding detailed analysis of the major vendor/key players in the market. Top Companies in the Global Micro-Supercapacitors Market: ...
- Powering A Laptop With Supercapacitorson June 23, 2020 at 5:00 pm
What do you do when you find a small horde of supercapacitors? The correct answer is a spectrum of dangerous devices ranging from gauss guns to quarter shrinkers. [Rinoa] had a less destructive ...
- Automotive Supercapacitors Market Size 2020-2027, Breakdown Data by Manufacturers, Key Regions, Types and Applicationon June 23, 2020 at 1:27 am
Acumen Research and Consulting, Recently Published Report on “Automotive Supercapacitors Market Size, Share, Growth, Revenue, Trends and Forecast 2020 to 2027.
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Double Layer Supercapacitor Market Size, Cost Analysis, Revenue and Gross Margin Analysis with Its Important Types and Application to 2026on June 27, 2020 at 1:48 am
Jun 27, 2020 (The Expresswire) -- “Double Layer Supercapacitor Market” size analysis report 2020 delivers the latest industry data and future trends, letting you to recognize the products and ...
- A Simply Fabricated and Eco-Friendly Supercapacitor for “Greener” Wearableson June 26, 2020 at 10:41 am
Researchers have created a high performance, eco-friendly, and elastic supercapacitor that could be a boon for the development of greener wearables. Sensor technology depends heavily on innovations in ...
- Newfound Lightweight Supercapacitor Materials Help Extend Battery Life for Mobile Electronic Deviceson June 19, 2020 at 7:03 pm
Advanced research into lighter, more durable materials with better energy conversion and mechanical properties means big things for drones, electric vehicles, and the military. Two teams, one at the ...
- Supercapacitor Market with COVID-19 Impact Analysis by Type, Electrode Material, Application & Region - Global Forecast to 2025on June 19, 2020 at 12:58 pm
Impact Analysis by Type, Electrode Material, Application (Automotive, Energy, Consumer Electronics, Industrial, Medical, Aerospace & Defense), Region - Global Forecast to 2025" report has been added ...
- Supercapacitor Market with COVID-19 Impact Analysis by Type, Electrode Material, Application & Region - Global Forecast to 2025on June 18, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Disclaimer | Commerce Policy | Made In NYC | Stock quotes by finanzen.net DUBLIN, June 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The "Supercapacitor Market with COVID-19 Impact Analysis by Type, Electrode Material ...