Reducing Cost of Supercapacitor with Cellulose
Cellulose is the most abundant organic polymer on Earth thanks to its use in plant life. This makes it a wonderful resource to use, but finding useful applications can be difficult. Researchers at Oregon State University though have found a way to convert cellulose into a carbon material that is suitable as an electrode for supercapacitors, and other technologies.
Starting with cellulose, which can be in the form of filter paper, the researchers heat it and expose it to ammonia. This causes the cellulose to convert into an N-doped nanoporous carbon membrane. The resulting membrane is actually so porous that a single gram of the material can have a surface area of roughly 2000 square meters. Large surface area is invaluable in supercapacitors, as that is where the charge builds up and is stored.
After discovering this safe, easy, and cheap process of producing the membrane, the researchers were actually surprised no one had reported finding it before. Its discovery could affect a number of technologies, but just inexpensive supercapacitors could rock the automobile world by making electric and hybrid vehicles more efficient, faster charging, and perhaps safer as well.
Source: Oregon State University