High performance supercaps made from cotton waste and seawater


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Supercapacitors, also called supercaps, are seen as next generation energy storage devices due to their high power density, durability, and charging characteristic compared with conventional capacitors, lithium-ion batteries, and fuel cells.

They do, however, suffer from low energy density (not to be confused with power density). An electric car with a supercapacitor onboard could be quickly charged, but unfortunately, it would only drive a few kilometers as their energy density is only about 5% compared to current lithium-ion batteries.

Supercapacitors are still used in solar power systems and wind turbines, and electro-mobility, and serve as buffer storage during peak loads to bridge short-term power failures; by recuperation or to supplement conventional batteries.

A supercapacitor device is composed of four main components: electrodes, separators, electrolytes, and current collectors. Among them, electrodes and electrolytes are pivotal, which directly determine the electrochemical behavior of the supercapacitors, and the fabrication cost of these components account for the major part of the device manufacturing cost.

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