First Graphene and University of Manchester secure funding to advance graphene-enhanced supercapacitor material

First Graphene has announced it has secured grant funding, in conjunction with the University of Manchester (UoM), for the next stage of research into commercializing graphene-enhanced supercapacitor materials.

Awarded through Innovate UK’s “Accelerated Knowledge Transfer to Innovate” scheme (AKT2I),
the grant will be used to fund a project intended to accelerate development and optimization of a
graphene-metal-oxide slurry for manufacturing high energy density supercapacitors.

First Graphene previously announced the development of a transition-metal-oxide particle which was reportedly found by a team at UoM to outperform activated carbon using an aqueous electrolyte, which is
greener and safer than commercially available ones that typically rely on organic solvents

The team has demonstrated the validity of the concept using coin cell-sized prototypes that were
shown to:

  • Improve the energy density of supercapacitors over activated carbon at a range of voltages
  • Enable the production of supercapacitors using non-volatile/non-flammable electrolytes
  • Provide benefits as a catalyst in the oxygen reduction reaction in water electrolysis for green hydrogen generation

To enable the technology to be implemented at scale, electrode slurries containing the active
materials need to be carefully formulated to enable manufacturing via conventional roll-to-roll (R2R)
printing. Performance thus far has been limited by coating quality, preventing progress to R2R
printing, which is an essential step for industry adoption.

The project will draw on the combined expertise of First Graphene and subject matter experts at
UoM to produce and characterize a smoother, more robust slurry formulation that is specifically optimized to a R2R manufacturing process.

This development work is therefore a natural progression and enabler to realize the full potential of
these novel materials. A viable, robust coating produced using First Graphene’s active material will
enable testing to be carried out inside customer laboratories.

First Graphene will produce its graphene-metal-oxide material, while the UoM team, led by
renowned supercapacitor expert Professor Robert Dryfe, will provide the optimized slurry for further

The project commenced this month and will conclude at the end of March 2023.

First Graphene Managing Director and CEO Michael Bell said: “This grant continues our preferred model of leveraging available funding to progress strategic R&D work towards viable commercial outcomes.
Currently, no commercial transition-metal-oxide supercapacitors are available and between First
Graphene and the University of Manchester, we have the expertise and existing collaborative
working relationships to capitalize on the opportunity. We look forward to reporting the results of this project to the market in coming months.”

University of Manchester Project Lead Prof. Robert Dryfe said: “A step-change in capacitor chemistry is required to create more energy-dense supercapacitors. This project builds on collaborative activity between First Graphene and the University of Manchester to develop novel graphene-metal-oxide hybrids for energy storage and electrocatalytic devices, combining First Graphene’s expertise in the electrochemical exfoliation of graphene with the University’s expertise in using graphene in energy storage devices.”

Posted: Dec 14,2022 by Roni Peleg