Supercapacitors Lead the Way As Sustainable Energy Source

energy_storage_mechanisms
An international team of materials researchers including Drexel Univ.’s Yury Gogotsi has given the engineering world a better look at the inner functions of the electrodes of supercapacitors – the low-cost, lightweight energy storage devices used in many electronics, transportation and many other applications...

An international team of materials researchers including Drexel Univ.’s Yury Gogotsi has given the engineering world a better look at the inner functions of the electrodes of supercapacitors – the low-cost, lightweight energy storage devices used in many electronics, transportation and many other applications. In a piece published in Nature Materials, Gogotsi, and his collaborators from universities in France and England, take another step toward finding a solution to the world’s demand for sustainable energy sources

Gogotsi, a professor in Drexel’s College of Engineering and director of the A.J. Drexel Nanotechnology Institute, teamed with Mathieu Salanne, C?line Merlet and Benjamin Rotenberg from the Universit? Paris, Paul Madden from Oxford Univ. and Patrice Simon and Pierre-Louis Taberna of Universit? Paul Sabatier. What the group has produced is the first quantitative picture of the structure of ionic liquid absorbed inside disordered microporous carbon electrodes in supercapacitors. Supercapacitors have the capability of storing and delivering more power than batteries; moreover, they can last for up to a million of charge-discharge cycles. These characteristics are significant because of the intermittent nature of renewable energy production.

ionic liquid surrounded by two porous carbon electrodes

The figure above (Molecular Dynamics simulations by the group of Mathieu Salanne): shows ionic liquid surrounded by two porous carbon electrodes. It explains how the positive (red) and negative (green) ions interact with the carbon surface. The charging mechanism involves the exchange of ions between the bulk and the electrode. This simulation yields much higher capacitance values than in models using simplified regular electrode geometries. Image: Drexel Univ.

According to the researchers, the excellent performance of supercapacitors is due to ion adsorption in porous carbon electrodes. The molecular mechanism of ion behavior in pores smaller than one nanometer-one billionth of a meter- remains poorly understood. The mechanism proposed in this research opens the door for the design of materials with improved energy storage capabilities.

he authors suggest that in order to build higher-performance materials, researchers should know whether the increase in energy storage is due to only a large surface area or if the pore size and geometry also play a role. The results of this study provide guidance for development of better electrical energy storage devices that will ultimately enable wide utilization of renewable energy sources.

“This breakthrough in understanding of energy storage mechanisms became possible due to collaboration between research groups from four universities in three countries,” Gogotsi says. “Moreover, the team used carbon structure models developed by our colleagues Jeremy Palmer and Dr. Keith Gubbins from the North Carolina State Univ. This is a clear demonstration of the importance of collaboration between scientists working in different disciplines and even in different countries.”

This international collaboration is exemplified in the Master Program in Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion (MESC) offered jointly by Universities in France, Poland, Spain, China and the US (Drexel Univ.), in which students spent four semesters studying in at least three different countries and obtaining important international experience, in addition to knowledge in the energy field. Currently, 3 MESC students perform their master thesis research at Drexel.

Source: Drexel Univ.
 

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If you want to help and support the purchase of aid consignments, shipping cost to Ukraine and delivery within Ukraine to the places in nee, please donate

Our volunteersBig thanks to all our friends, partners, volunteers for help and their tireless work! We continue to help our defenders and deliver military equipment, humanitarian aid, tactical medicine and special medical supplies to units of Ukrainian Army, territorial defense and hospitals on the front line!

 
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3.jpg - 197.81 KbOur organization in Kyiv, Materials Research Center, is well aware of the needs in Ukraine now. Together with our partners, fellow Ukrainian scientists, we have organized a warehouse in Lviv, where we collect cargos and distribute them throughout Ukraine, with detailed reports confirming the delivery to the final destination, including photos of the transfer. We have transportation that can pick cargo in Poland and deliver it through a green corridor for humanitarian cargos at the Polish-Ukrainian border. 
We are ready to respond promptly, as required by the situation in Ukraine. If there are individuals, foundations or volunteer organizations willing to send help to Ukraine from Europe or the United States, we are ready to accept it in our warehouses, make collection or individual parties according to your request and pass them on to those in need. All humanitarian aid, first aid, and protective gear will be delivered to the final destination.
Please contact Dr. Oleksiy Gogotsi, MRC Director: Tel / Viber / WhatsApp / Telegram / Signal: + 380 63 233 2443, Cell phone in the USA: +1 808 203 8092, e-mail: helpukraine@mrc.org.ua
Being currently on a business trip in Philadelphia, the United States, we can meet with you in person, if needed.

 
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