A new supercapacitor, developed by an Australian scientist, promises eco-friendly, cheap, fast-charging and ever-lasting lithium ion batteries.
When it comes to energy storage, especially our good old friends- the lithium ion batteries, some things just sound too good to be true. For example, if someone says they developed an ever lasting battery, which does not need any special method of disposal, it charges and recharges super fast, it is cheap and it is thin and flexible- would you believe it? Chances are that you would be much more likely to think it is a hoax than anything else.
However, there is always that chance of someone managing to prove all pessimists wrong. This is how great scientific discoveries happen.
An Australian researcher at the Swinburne University managed to do exactly this. He created a miracle supercapacitor, using the miracle material- graphene, which promises all those ‘too good to be true’, yet very real, properties. The inventor, Han Lin, might have just cracked the code to the battery that everyone has ever dreamed of.
The addition of graphene in this supercapacitor made everything possible. There is a boost in energy storage capacity, thanks to the vast surface area and honeycomb structure of the ultra-thin carbon sheet. The charging time is ultra fast, a couple of seconds to be precise, while the efficiency simply does not decrease. Lin also managed to overcome one other major limitation of common Li-ion batteries, and this is their negative environmental impact. He states that his new supercapacitor does not require special method of disposal or recycling, because the invention is eco-friendly.
And if this is not enough, Lin managed to make it all highly cost-effective by producing the graphene with a 3D printer. This makes the new graphene supercapacitor a very attractive component to be used in smart phones, portable devices and electric vehicles. What is more, the thin and flexible structure of the material allows future batteries that use the supercapacitor to be built directly into clothing or take shape of a wearable power accessory.
The new super supercapacitor was first presented at Fresh Science Victoria 2016. Let’s hope we see it on the market shelves soon too.
Image (c) Fresh Science
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