By: Rubina Obaid
Researchers are consistently striving to successfully evolve various low cost and efficient alternatives for energy storage. Thus, they came up with the concept of converting cotton waste and tamarind waste for developing supercapacitor.
Supercapacitors also known as supercaps are an amazing innovation in the world of renewable to facilitate the storage of sustainable green energy. An advanced energy storage device that has efficiently replaced conventional capacitors due to the high power density, durability, and innovative charging characteristic. An incredible next-generation energy storage device is a great breakthrough in the transportation sector for transforming conventional vehicles to electronic vehicles which will help in the smooth transition towards reaching climate neutrality targets due to their environment-friendly nature. They are also widely used for the energy storage obtained through solar power systems and wind turbines.
Researchers are consistently striving to successfully evolve various low cost and efficient alternatives for energy storage. Thus, they came up with the concept of converting cotton waste and tamarind waste for developing supercapacitor. A supercapacitor is mainly composed of four components which are electrodes, electrolytes, separators, and current collectors. Among these four components, electrodes and electrolytes are the most important, which determine the electrochemical behavior. So, the manufacturing cost of these components, mainly impacts the overall cost of the batteries. Also, the selection of electrolytes for supercaps is the major task that greatly influences the performance of a capacitor. A good quality electrolyte should possess properties such as chemical stability, wide operating potential window, high wettability, wide range of operating temperatures, and high ionic conductivity.
Group of Indian scientists studied waste biomass to develop cost-efficient supercapacitors which also ensure high performance storage. This will open new horizons of having low cost electrical and hybrid vehicles. These supercapacitors will possess incredible capabilities of storing and discharging energy. Researchers from the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials in Hyderabad, India, contrived highly porous carbon fiber from waste cotton and tamarind waste to convert them into carbon electrodes. The researchers also published their recent findings in the “Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics.” When connected in a series, a set of supercapacitor cells using electrodes and specific electrolytes, it generated voltage that lit up 40 LED lights. Connecting the same set of capacitors in parallel also illuminated high power LED light.
Using these supercapacitors it is possible to use energy even in the absence of sunlight by storing energy in the day time. The cell retains its original capacitance with minimal loss in efficiency even after completing two thousand cycles of charging and discharging which indicates its sustainable efficiency in the long run. Rapid testing protocols have been administered along with the help of scientists at the Centre for Fuel Cell Technology ARCI Chennai to evaluate different electrode materials for their stability in supercapacitor. These protocols involved Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) to record the impedance. It is a parameter that is used to measure the opposition that a circuit presents to a current when the voltage is introduced. A material under a small perturbation and the capacitance is formed by the arrangement of electrolyte ions over the electrode surface which is called double-layer capacitance. The results revealed by the researchers of the ARCI team exhibited a superior double layer capacitance value at all the applied potentials for the optimized sample prepared from tamarind seed for the application.