ARCI develops Low-cost Super-capacitor

Context

Recently, the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) developed a low-cost supercapacitor device. ARCI is an autonomous organization of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

About

  • Indian scientists at ACRI have developed a low-cost and environment-friendly fabrication method for super-capacitor devices by utilizing industrial waste cotton as the electrode material and natural seawater-based electrolyte.
  • The simple and sustainable supercapacitor developed shows excellent potential for practical implementation as energy storage in self-powered devices using solar cells.
  • The seawater-based supercapacitor exhibited maximum capacitances at a current density of 1 ampere per gram. Besides, it can last 10,000 charge-discharge cycles with 99% of capacitance retention and 99% of Coulombic efficiency (efficiency with which charge is transferred in a system facilitating an electrochemical reaction).
  • In their search for low-cost materials to make affordable supercapacitors, the ARCI scientists converted industrial waste cotton into highly porous carbon fibers by the activation process. They then utilized the porous carbon fibers to make high-performance supercapacitor electrodes.
  • They explored natural seawater as an environment-friendly, cost-effective and scalable substitute for the existing aqueous-based electrolytes.
  • Supercapacitors could be combined with solar cells to enable low-cost, eco-friendly, and efficient self-powered devices capable of energy storage.
    • Thus, the integrated solar cell with supercapacitor can be used as an energy harvester storage device due to its long cycle life and maintenance-free power supply.
  • It is an excellent example of the creative science for the sustainable, green processes embedding principles of waste-to-wealth. 

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