A new study describes novel plant-based storage device developed by researchers at Texas A&M University. What is astonishing, this device can even charge electric cars within few minutes in the near future. And the devices are lightweight, flexible, and cost-effective, say researchers.
Meanwhile, it has been tricky to combine biomaterials with energy storage devices because of difficulties to control resulting electrical properties. This, then adversely impacts the device’s lifecycle and performance. Also, the making of biomaterials generally includes hazardous chemical treatments. For this, the research team has designed an environment friendly energy storage device with superior electrical performance and can be fabricated safely, easily, and at much lower cost.
The research is published in the June edition of the journal Energy Storage.
Supercapacitors superior to batteries for charging time
Factually, energy storage devices are usually in the form of supercapacitors or batteries. Whilst both type of devices can produce electric currents when required, there lie some fundamental differences. The difference lies in that batteries have much higher charge storing capacity per unit volume. While, on the other hand, supercapacitors are much more efficient at generating large amount of electric current within a short period of time. This burst of electric current enables supercapacitors to charge devices quickly, unlike batteries that take much longer.
Structurally, the internal architecture of super capacitors is more in line with basic capacitors. Both basic capacitors and supercapacitors store charge on electrodes. The key difference is unlike basic capacitors, supercapacitors can be fabricated in different shapes, sizes, and designs depending on the application they are intended for. Furthermore, supercapacitor electrodes can also be built with different materials. For the study, the research team used manganese oxide nanoparticles for designing one of the electrodes of the supercapacitor.