In a paper published recently by the journal Energy and Environmental Materials, researchers from the University of Surrey revealed a new technology that has the potential to revolutionize energy storage in electric vehicles and reduce energy loss in the national grid. The team also believes its technology can help push forward the advancement of wind, wave, and solar energy by cost-effectively smoothing out the intermittent nature of the energy sources.
The new supercapacitor technology is based on a material called Polyaniline (or PANI), which stores energy through a mechanism known as ‘pseudocapacitance.’ This cheap polymer material is conductive and can be used as the electrode in a super-capacitor device. The electrode stores charge by trapping ions within the electrode. It does this by exchanging electrons with the ion, which ‘dopes’ the material.
In their paper, the team detail how they developed a new three-layer composite using carbon nanotubes, PANI, and hydrothermal carbon that demonstrates remarkable rate-capability at high energy densities, independent of the power use.
The future of global energy will depend on consumers and industry using and generating energy more efficiently and super-capacitors have already been proven to be one of the leading technologies for intermittent storage as well as high-power delivery. This new work has established a baseline for high energy devices that also operate at high power, effectively widening the range of potential applications.’
This work has the potential to change the way we all live our lives may result in an efficient and fast charging energy storage, superior to batteries. From wearable technology to the mobile Internet of Things applications that will launch the 5G revolution. The potential for our super-capacitor is limitless.’