A new plant-based supercapacitor could, in the near future, charge devices—even electric cars—within a few minutes, researchers report.
The researchers say their energy storage devices are also flexible, lightweight, and cost-effective.
“Integrating biomaterials into energy storage devices has been tricky because it is difficult to control their resulting electrical properties, which then gravely affects the devices’ life cycle and performance.
Also, the process of making biomaterials generally includes chemical treatments that are hazardous,” says Hong Liang, professor in the mechanical engineering department.
“We have designed an environmentally friendly energy storage device that has superior electrical performance and can be manufactured easily, safely and at much lower cost.”
Energy storage devices are generally in the form of either batteries or supercapacitors. Although both types of devices can deliver electrical currents when required, they have some fundamental differences.
While batteries can store