Navigation Links
Team uses forest waste to develop cheaper, greener supercapacitors
Date:10/23/2013

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. 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.

"The performance of our biochar materials is comparable to the performance of today's advanced carbon materials, including carbon nanotubes and graphenes," Jiang said. "We can achieve comparable performance with much less cost and probably much lower environmental costs."


'/>"/>

Contact: Diana Yates
diya@illinois.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Risk of Amazon rainforest dieback is higher than IPCC projects
2. Historic trends predict future global reforestation unlikely
3. Heavily logged forests still valuable for tropical wildlife
4. An unprecedented threat to Perus cloud forests
5. Climate change may speed up forests life cycles
6. 400-year study finds Northeast forests resilient, changing
7. Red cedar tree study shows that Clean Air Act is reducing pollution, improving forests
8. Woodland salamanders indicators of forest ecosystem recovery
9. Full genome map of oil palm indicates a way to raise yields and protect rainforest
10. Computer can infer rules of the forest
11. Black bears return to Missouri indicates healthy forests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Team uses forest waste to develop cheaper, greener supercapacitors
(Date:2/21/2017)... Ore. , Feb. 22, 2017  IBM (NYSE: ... (Avamere Health Services, Infinity Rehab, Signature Hospice, Home Health, ... will apply the power of IBM cognitive computing to ... centers. By analyzing data streaming from sensors in senior ... and environmental conditions, and obtain deeper learnings into the ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... a centralized platform that is designed to enhance ... the latest release in the RSA Fraud & ... to enable organizations to leverage additional insights from ... anti-fraud tools to better protect their customers from ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... 8, 2017 About Voice Recognition Biometrics Voice ... it against a stored voiceprint template. Acoustic features ... and tone are compared to distinguish between individual ... as most PCs already have a microphone and ... recognition biometrics are most likely to be deployed ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... San Antonio, TX (PRWEB) , ... February 23, ... ... and Drug Administration (FDA) de novo clearance to begin marketing the SPEAC® System, ... is indicated for adults at home or in healthcare facilities during periods of ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... as insulin, cortisol, CRP, adiponectin, uric acid, and/or other biomarkers or SNPs of ... Assay from Salimetrics’ SalivaLab , the relationship between insulin and other relevant ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... SAN DIEGO , Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... protein research tools, announced the acquisition of GenWay ... with a comprehensive service and product offering for ... "This acquisition will facilitate growth and enhance capabilities ... proteins, antibodies, and ELISA assays will nicely complement ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... 22, 2017  Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETX), a pet ... innovative biopharmaceutical products for companion animals, will host a live ... ET to discuss financial results from the fourth quarter and ... participants and investors may access the audio webcast ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: