The drawbacks of ultracapacitors means we'll be stuck with batteries for a while. However, experiments with a new class of materials that are related to soap and laxatives (yes, laxatives) could change that.
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Supercapacitors, or ultracapacitors, present an amazing opportunity to move away from batteries and into a world where almost instant charging is the norm, but the drawbacks of supercapacitors mean we can’t use them widely.
At least not yet.
Experiments with a new class of materials that are related to soap and laxatives could bring us one step closer to a world with no more pesky chemical batteries.
So many of the batteries we’re familiar with are chemical, which means the batteries use some kind of charged chemical, like lithium, to store energy. Lithium ion batteries are in everything—your phone, your laptop, even electric cars, but they’ve got some downsides.
Like the fact that you have to wait a very long time for them to charge. And lithium ion batteries start degrading basically as soon as they leave the factory, and they’re very expensive to replace because they’re super resource intensive—which also means they’re really not great for the environment.
Lithium ion batteries are also pretty flammable, making them a safety risk, one that can be seen in action with the exploding hoverboards.
So because of all these negatives, when we use these kind of batteries for our energy grid, we run into some serious restrictions.
Supercapacitors consist of two electrode plates soaked in a liquid electrolyte, separated by an insulator. Apply a voltage, and voilá, opposite electric charges build up on the plates, creating an electric double-layer, allowing them to store more energy than regular capacitors.
So a supercapacitor’s energy is stored in its electric field, whereas a battery is stored in its chemical makeup.
Find out more about the potential of supercapacitors, how they work, and what a supercapacitor could mean for the future of energy storage on this episode of Elements.
#Supercapacitor #Energy #Batteries #Tech #Seeker #Science #Elements
Supercapacitors turbocharged by laxatives
"An international team of scientists, including a professor of chemistry from the University of Bristol, has worked out a way to improve energy storage devices called supercapacitors, by designing a new class of detergents chemically related to laxatives."
Here’s How to Get The Most Life Out of Your Battery
"A lithium-ion battery starts degrading as soon as it's been produced, because it slightly self-discharges even in storage. That's why you want to buy a device that's left the factory as recently as possible; older batteries inevitably die sooner."
"Supercapacitors (SCs) are electrochemical energy storage devices that store and release energy by reversible adsorption and desorption of ions at the interfaces between electrode materials and electrolytes.”
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