Paper-based, environmentally friendly supercapacitors reduce material costs by 90 percent compared to today's technology. This shows a new Doctoral Thesis by Britta Andres at Mid Sweden University´s researchcentre FSCN - Fibre Science and Communication Network. Supercapacitors are energy storage devices that can complement or partially replace batteries.
By using the materials, production techniques and concept improvements proposed in the thesis, it is possible to lower the cost of supercapacitors production by more than 90 percent compared with commercial supercapacitors. The research is interesting for the automotive industry, now when the demand for electric cars increases. Today, electric cars are expensive and the big batteries are heavy investment costs.
´"If our research can help to reduce costs and also develop conditions for new energy storage solutions, it would be great from an environmental point of view, " says Britta Andres, PhD student in Engineering Physics at Mid Sweden University in Sundsvall.
The research at FSCN shows that paper-based supercapacitors are a very promising alternative on the energy market. There is a change from fossil energy sources to renewable sources in our society, but it requires environmentally friendly and cost-effective batteries and supercapacitors. Today's batteries and supercapacitors often contain expensive, rare or toxic materials.
"Our paper-based supercapacitors meet the requirements for environmentally friendly storage devices for electrical energy and they also have high power density. If our products can be further developed and produced in larger scale, they have great potential to support the transition to environmentally sustainable supercapacitors and other green energy technologies, " says Britta Andres.
To meet the high environmental standards, only paper, graphite and salt water are used. Paper is used as a separator between the electrodes as well as a substrate for the electrode coating. Graphite is used as active electrode material and salt water acts as electrolyte.
"We have also found a unique method and use micro- and nanocellulose from wood fibres as binders. Cellulose increases the dispersion stability and improves the mechanical stability and electrical properties of the electrodes. Microfibrillated cellulose provides the best properties for supercapacitors, says Britta Andres.
Britta Andres presents her doctoral thesis on September 8 at 10.15 at Mid Sweden University campus Sundsvall.
FSCN - Fibre Science and Communication Network
FSCN conducts research on manufacturing processes for fibre and other bioproducts from forest raw materials, new cellulose materials and functional surfaces for green energy solutions. The research is conducted in close cooperation with companies, including forest industry, in Sweden and Europe.
Britta Andres, PhD student in Engineering Physics at Mid Sweden University e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org phone +46 10-142 86 71