Graphene May be Springboard for Energy Storage Leap

Supercapacitors made from graphene, a carbon-based high-tech material, represent another breakthrough that could drive the energy storage industry forward. The innovation can be attributed to researchers at Monash University in Australia. Making use of an adaptive graphene gel film, the team liquid electrolytes to manage the gaps between graphene sheets. These graphene sheets are on the order of nanometers. The end result is a supercapacitor that is very high in energy density – 60 Wh per litre – a number that is 12 times as high as commercially available supercapacitors. The material promises to find widespread use in renewable energy storage, portable devices, and electric vehicles.

Project leader Li Dan said that part of the motivation for the research lies in the increasing need to develop ever lighter, smaller, and more compact supercapacitors for a variety of commercial applications. He added that while the technology is still confined to laboratory environment due to its cost, “once the cost is reduced by scaling up, it is highly likely that our materials would be used in consumer electronics, electric vehicles, in a longer term, for renewable energy storage.” The project benefitted from a A$2 million funding by the Australian Research Council.

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