An international team of scientists, including a professor of chemistry from the University of Bristol, has worked out a way to improve energy storage devices called supercapacitors, by designing a new class of detergents chemically related to laxatives.
Their paper, published today in the journal Nature Materials, explains why these detergents, called ionic liquids, are better electrolytes than current materials and can improve supercapacitors.
Currently, aqueous and organic electrolytes are used, but more recently, researchers and manufacturers have been testing ionic liquids instead to boost performance.
Although ionic liquids are salts, at room temperature they are surprisingly not crystalline solids – as their name suggests they are in fact liquids.
This gives ionic liquids numerous advantages over conventional electrolytes because they are stable, non-flammable, and often much more environmentally friendly.
To explore the exciting potential offered by ionic liquids for emerging electrochemical technologies the authors designed a new set of highly efficient detergent-like ionic liquid electrolytes and explained how they work at electrode surfaces.
Understanding how they operate will help design even more efficient devices for storing electrical energy.
Professor Julian Eastoe, from the University of Bristol’s School of Chemistry, is a co-author of the study. He said: “To make this discovery required a team of scientists with a very diverse skill set, spanning chemical synthesis, advanced structural, microscopy and electrical techniques as well as computational methods.
“This work demonstrates the power of scientific research ‘without borders’, the groups from different nations contributed their own expertise to make ‘the whole greater than the sum of parts’.”
Co-author, Xianwen Mao, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), added: “We engineered a new class of ionic liquids that can store energy more efficiently.
“These detergent-like ionic liquids can self-assemble into sandwich-like bilayer structures on electrode surfaces. And that is very reason why they give better energy storage performance.”
Typically, for electrolytes in contact with a charged electrode, the distribution of ions is dominated by electrostatic Coulombic interactions.
However, this distribution can be controlled by making the ionic liquids soap-like, or amphiphilic, so that the molecules now have separate polar and non-polar domains, exactly like common detergents.
These soap-like electrolytes then spontaneously form bilayer structures on the electrode surfaces, leading to much improved energy storage capabilities. The researchers found that temperature and applied voltage also affect the energy storage performance.
This new class of electrolytes may be suitable for challenging operations, such as oil drilling and space exploration, but they may also pave the way to new and improved supercapacitors in hybrid cars.
These devices are essential components in modern hybrid cars and can outperform batteries in terms of higher power and better efficiency.
This is particularly the case during regenerative braking where mechanical work is turned into electrical energy, which can be stored quickly in supercapacitors ready to be released.
This reduces energy consumption and is much more environmentally friendly. More importantly, using the new electrolytes such as developed in this study, future supercapacitors may even be able to store more energy than batteries, potentially replacing batteries in applications such as electrical vehicles, personal electronics, and grid-level energy storage facilities.
Learn more: Supercapacitors turbocharged by laxatives
The Latest on: Supercapacitors
via Google News
The Latest on: Supercapacitors
- Capacitor Market is expected to reach $31.2 billion by 2027 – An exclusive market research report by Lucintelon May 18, 2022 at 7:52 am
Lucintel's latest market report analyzed that capacitor provides attractive opportunities in different types of capacitor, like ceramics, aluminum, tantalum, papers and plastics, ...
- Powering up energy storage: Estonian tech nominated for prestigious prizeon May 17, 2022 at 11:43 pm
Three Estonian scientists have been nominated for European Patent Office (EPO) prize for developing superior carbon-based materials for the energy storage devices known as ultracapacitors. The ...
- Micro-Supercapacitors Market size, share, Outlook, Industry Analysis and Prospect 2022-2026on May 17, 2022 at 9:08 pm
A new report released by Market Research Update is Micro-Supercapacitors Market 2022. This report provides up-to-date information on the market and also pinpoint all the opportuni ...
- Global Supercapacitors Market 2022 Size, Share, Applications, Advance Technology and Top Companies to 2028on May 17, 2022 at 4:37 pm
The MarketsandResearch.biz has conducted an exhaustive market study on Global Supercapacitors Market to understand its growth during 2022-2028. To make future predictions on the growth of the ...
- Balancing the Mass-Charge Problem in Asymmetric Supercapacitorson May 17, 2022 at 6:18 am
The synthesized CNTs also comprised immersed Co nanoparticles over nano-fibrillated electrospun hollow carbon nanofibers, and have helped to address the mass-charge issue in asymmetrical ...
- 3V supercapacitors work up to 65°C and deliver ampson May 13, 2022 at 7:31 am
Tecate has added 3V supercapacitors to its TPLH series of otherwise 2.7V parts, designed for long life and high-temperature high-humidity use. "The new ser ...
- SuperCapacitors Vs Batteries Againon May 11, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Supercapacitors are definitely not the same as batteries, we all know that. They tend to have a very low operating voltage, and due to their operating principle of storing charge on parallel ...
- Supercapacitors Global Market Outlook to 2024: Growing Importance of Backup Power Drives Demand for Supercapacitors in UPSon May 11, 2022 at 2:30 am
The "Supercapacitors - Global Market Trajectory & Analytics" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.
- Global Supercapacitors Market to Reach $3.4 Billion by 2024 - ResearchAndMarkets.comon May 9, 2022 at 8:49 pm
DUBLIN, May 06, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The "Supercapacitors - Global Market Trajectory & Analytics" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. Supercapacitors, also known as ...
- Uncovering the key to safer energy storage devices that avoid thermal runawayon May 9, 2022 at 10:59 am
Modern energy storage devices, such as supercapacitors and batteries, have highly temperature-dependent performance. If a device gets too hot, it become susceptible to "thermal runaway." Thermal ...
via Bing News