Development of a Green Supercapacitor Composed Entirely of Environmentally Friendly Materials

 Green machineDevelopment of a Green Supercapacitor Composed Entirely of Environmentally Friendly Materials

Boris Dyatkin1, Prof. Volker Presser1,2, Min Heon1, Maria R. Lukatskaya1, Dr. Majid Beidaghi1, Prof. Yury Gogotsi1

1 A. J. Drexel Nanotechnology Institute, Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (USA)

2 INM—Leibniz Institute for New Materials and Saarland University, Campus D2 2, Saarbrücken (Germany)

Article first published online: 18 OCT 2013, DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201300852

Green machine: Every single component of the electrical energy storage system presented is environmentally friendly and can be safely disposed of or incinerated after use. Moreover, the performance of the proposed alternatives meets or exceeds that offered by most materials in traditional supercapacitors.

Keywords: electrochemistry; energy transfer; environmental chemistry; green chemistry; waste prevention


Owing to recent power- and energy-density advances, higher efficiencies, and almost unlimited lifetimes, electrical double-layer capacitors (EDLCs, also known as supercapacitors) are now used in a wide range of energy harvesting and storage systems, which include portable power and grid applications. Despite offering key performance advantages, many device components pose significant environmental hazards once disposed. They often contain fluorine, sulfur, and cyanide groups, which are harmful if discarded by using conventional landfill or incineration methods, and they are constructed by using multiple metallic parts, which contribute to a high ash content. We explore designs for a fully operational supercapacitor that incorporates materials completely safe to dispose of and easy to incinerate. The components, which include material alternatives for the current collector, electrolyte, separator, particle binder, and packaging, are all mutually compatible, and most of them exhibit better performance than commonly used materials. We selected a graphite foil as current collector, sodium acetate as electrolyte, an ester as porous membrane based on acetate cellulose, and polymers based on polyvinyl alcohol as environmentally benign solutions for device components. The presented materials all originate from simple and inexpensive source compounds, which decreases the environmental impact of their manufacture and renders them more viable for integration into commercial devices for large-scale stationary and transportation energy storage applications.

Development of a Green Supercapacitor Composed Entirely of Environmentally Friendly Materials Boris Dyatkin, Prof. Volker Presser, Min Heon, Maria R. Lukatskaya, Dr. Majid Beidaghi and Prof. Yury Gogotsi, ChemiSusChem, Volume 6, Issue 10, 2013, DOI: 10.1002/cssc.201300852



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