Sunvault to develop graphene-based supercapacitors for PV cells

Sunvault-logoCanadian Sunvault Energy has formed the Supervault Energy JV to develop UCLA-patented graphene supercapacitor technology. It announced its plans to soon enter a joint venture which "change the face of renewable energy generation and storage". 

The company states that graphene will enable devices that recharge in seconds and that supercapacitors could be scaled up from portable devices, such as smartphones, to charging stations for electric vehicles. The company says that the technology can be scaled up to utility-sized applications and that it intends to incorporate the technology in its solar cells to produce a device capable of generating, transferring and storing energy in one unit.

Laser annealing may improve graphene inks

German scientists at the University of Siegen, along with scientists from the KTH-Royal Institute of Technology in Kista, Sweden, claim that laser annealing can improve the quality of printed graphene (and other 2D materials) inks. This can be beneficial for various applications like flexible electronics devices, including batteries and supercapacitors, transistors, solar cells and displays.

laser annealing improves graphene inks image 

The researchers succeeded in producing uniform, transparent and conductive graphene thin films by simply drop-casting dispersions of the carbon sheet onto a glass surface and combining this drop-casting step with laser annealing. The annealing process involves scanning a laser beam across the surface of the films, which distinctly improves their transparency and how well they conduct electricity. 

Graphene ESD and Stony Brook University sign a research agreement for development of a graphene-based supercapacitor

Graphene ESD logoLomiko Metals recently announced forming a new graphene-related venture called Graphene Energy Storage Devices (Graphene ESD Corp.) to commercialize their energy storage technology. Now, Lomiko has announced the signing of a research agreement between Graphene ESD and Stony Brook University.

Graphene ESD Corp. will partner with the SBU Center for Advanced Sensor Technologies (Sensor CAT) to develop new supercapacitors designed for energy storage. The device will be designed as a versatile energy storage solution for electronics, electric vehicles and electric grid. SBU will leverage its experience in electrochemistry and will be responsible for the design of the electrode and the electrolyte formulation. The Graphene ESD team will work on device assembly and testing.

A novel approach to crumpling graphene using a thermally activated polymer substrate

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign developed a single-step process to achieve 3D texturing of graphene and graphite, using a commercially available thermally activated shape-memory polymer substrate. 

crumpling method for graphene and graphite illinois urbana-chamaign image

Since crumpled graphene was shown to have modulated electrical and optical properties, finding methods to produce folded/crumpled graphene surfaces can be helpful for various applications, like electronics and biomaterials, electrodes for battery and supercapacitor applications, coating layers, omniphobic/anti-bacterial surfaces for advanced coating applications and more. 

Graphene-based capacitors demonstrated in electric bicycles

Researchers from Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed high performance LICs (lithium ion capacitors) using graphene- based composites as electrodes. 

The researchers also developed LICs with a capacity of 150F, 1000F, 2000F and 3500F. The energy densities are above 45 Wh/L based on the volume of the cell. After 20,000 cycles of charge/discharge, the ratio of the capacity retention is as high as 84.3%.

Rice Scientists use LIG process to make 3D graphene supercapacitors

In December 2014, Rice University researchers designed a process (called LIG) in which  a computer-controlled laser burns through a polymer to create flexible, patterned sheets of multilayer graphene that may be suitable for electronics or energy storage.

Now, their research has advanced to use the LIG process to produce 3D supercapacitors. The scientists made supercapacitors with laser-induced graphene on both sides of a polymer sheet. The sections were stacked with solid electrolytes in between, to get a multilayer construct with multiple micro-supercapacitors. 

rice lig supercapacitor schematic

Graphene from agricultural waste

Researchers at the South Dakota State University agricultural and biosystems engineering department used a pyrolysis process to turn various materials (corn stover, dried grains and grasses) into graphene. The pyrolysis process turns the plant materials into bio-oil and biochar, and further processing turns it into biofuel.

Turning biochar into graphene can have many uses, like replacing activated carbon coatings of electrodes used in supercapacitors. Graphene has a much higher monetary value than the plant products in this process, so it can be highly worhtwhile to turn these agricultural residues into graphene. 


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