In the near future, new plant-based supercapacitor could charge electric cars in a few minutes.
Texas A&M University researchers have created a novel plant-based energy storage device that in the near future could charge devices — even electric cars — within a few minutes. Furthermore, they say their devices are flexible, lightweight and cost-effective.
“Integrating biomaterials into energy storage devices has been tricky because it is difficult to control their resulting electrical properties, which then gravely affects the devices’ life cycle and performance. Also, the process of making biomaterials generally includes chemical treatments that are hazardous,” said Hong Liang, Oscar S. Wyatt Jr. Professor in the J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering. “We have designed an environmentally friendly energy storage device that has superior electrical performance and can be manufactured easily, safely and at much lower cost.”
The research is outlined in the June issue of the Energy Storage.
Energy storage devices are generally in the form of either batteries or supercapacitors. Although both types of devices can deliver electrical currents when required, they have some fundamental differences. While batteries can store large amounts of charge per unit volume, supercapacitors are much more efficient at generating a large quantity of electric current within a short duration. This burst of electricity helps supercapacitors quickly charge devices, unlike batteries that can take much longer.
Supercapacitors have an internal architecture that is more in line with basic capacitors. Both these devices store charge on metal plates or electrodes. However, unlike basic capacitors, supercapacitors can be made in different sizes, shapes and designs, depending on the intended application. Furthermore, supercapacitor electrodes can also be built with different materials.
For their work, Liang and her team were attracted to manganese dioxide nanoparticles for designing one of the two supercapacitor electrodes.
“Manganese dioxide is cheaper, available in abundance and is safer compared to other transition metal oxides, like ruthenium or zinc oxide, that are popularly used for making electrodes,” Liang said. “But a major drawback of manganese dioxide is that it suffers from lower electrical conductivity.”
Past research has shown that lignin, a natural polymer that glues wood fibers together, used with metal oxides enhances the electrochemical properties of electrodes. However, Liang said there have been few studies looking into combining manganese dioxide and lignin to leverage both of their useful properties.
To create their electrode, Liang and her team treated purified lignin with a commonly available disinfectant called potassium permanganate. They then applied high heat and pressure to initiate an oxidation reaction that results in the breaking down of potassium permanganate and the deposition of manganese dioxide on lignin. Next, they coated the lignin and manganese dioxide mixture on an aluminum plate to form the green electrode. Finally, the researchers assembled the supercapacitor by sandwiching a gel electrolyte between the lignin-manganese dioxide-aluminum electrode and another electrode made of aluminum and activated charcoal.
Upon testing their newly designed green electrode, they found that their supercapacitor had very stable electrochemical properties. In particular, the specific capacitance, or the ability of the device to store an electrical charge, changed little, even after thousands of cycles of charging and discharging. Also, for an optimal lignin-manganese dioxide ratio, the specific capacitance was observed to be up to 900 times more than what has been reported for other supercapacitors.
Liang noted that these supercapacitors are also very light and flexible. These properties extend their use as structural energy storage elements in vehicles, for example.
“In this study, we have been able to make a plant-based supercapacitor with excellent electrochemical performance using a low-cost, sustainable method,” Liang said. “In the near future, we’d like to make our supercapacitors 100% environmentally friendly by incorporating only green, sustainable ingredients.”
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Plant-based energy storage device
- Duke Energy Florida urges customers to prepare for Tropical Storm Elsaon July 4, 2021 at 7:46 am
Duke Energy Florida is preparing for Tropical Storm Elsa and is urging customers to prepare as well. Company meteorologists are tracking ...
- Invest in WiGL’s greener, smarter-power of the future for IoT deviceson July 2, 2021 at 2:00 pm
Sponsored Deals WiGL’s revolutionary power model charges IoT devices over WiFi Invest in a power model that charges your device the same way you connect to WiFi ...
- Honeywell, Alturus Partner to Provide Energy Storage, Distributed Assets Solutionson June 30, 2021 at 8:50 am
Honeywell and Alturus will collaborate to provide Energy Storage as a Service (ESaaS) and deliver meaningful performance.
- New study supports TEXEL's energy storage alternative as a challenger to the lithium-ion batteryon June 30, 2021 at 12:22 am
Developing inexpensive renewable energy, such as wind and solar, is one step toward a future with net-zero carbon energy. Creating ...
- Selantro Uses Green Chemistry to Launch a Cleaner Energy Storage Solutionon June 29, 2021 at 9:12 am
Selantro Inc. is proud to announce the launch of a clean, high-density energy storage solution that is chemical-free, biodegradable and completely safe for the environment. Comparable to a ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Plant-based energy storage device
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Watch a Nissan Maxima plow into a gas pump in Californiaon June 29, 2021 at 8:01 am
The driver of a seventh-generation Nissan Maxima is extremely lucky to be alive after veering off a highway in California and slamming into a gas pump. The fiery incident was caught on tape by a ...
- Norway Leads The Charge To Phase Out Internal Combustion; China And The UK To Followon June 23, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Climate change promises to cause untold damage across the world if greenhouse gas emissions continue at current levels for much longer. Despite the wealth of evidence indicating impending doom ...
- US Nuclear and Grapheton’s New Supercapacitors Could Charge Your Next Electric Vehicle in Secondson May 24, 2021 at 5:35 am
LOS ANGELES, CA, May 24, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via NewMediaWire – US Nuclear’s (OTCQB: UCLE) partner Grapheton has developed the next generation of supercapacitors using a special patented glassy ...
- 2017 Publicationson January 13, 2019 at 6:38 pm
Acharya, K.; Rashad, A.A.; Moraca, F.; Klasse, P.J.; Moore, J.P.; Abrams, C.F.; Chaiken, I. Recognition of HIV-Inactivating Peptide Triazoles by a Recombinant Soluble ...
- 2018 Publicationson January 11, 2019 at 4:33 pm
High Performance Aqueous Asymmetric Supercapacitor based on Iron Oxide Anode and Cobalt ... Stanzione III, J.F.; GR Palmese, G.R. Recent advances in plant-based vinyl ester resins and reactive ...