Brit Liggett

New Supercapacitor Made With Biofuel By-Product is Cheaper, Greener

by , 05/24/11

supercapacitor, biofuel biproduct, energy storage, renewable energy storage, green energy storage, clean energy storage, solar energy storage, solar supercapacitor

Students at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey have created a supercapacitor — used for storing energy — that replaces activated carbon with biochar electrodes. The new substance is half as expensive, it’s made from a by-product of biofuel, and it’s much easier to produce than activated carbon. This breakthrough could bring the cost of supercapacitors down drastically while making it easier to store renewable energy for when it is needed.

supercapacitor, biofuel biproduct, energy storage, renewable energy storage, green energy storage, clean energy storage, solar energy storage, solar supercapacitor

Every year on earth we use up about 15 terrawatts of energy, and the sun beats down 50 terrawatts of harvestable solar energy annually. The team of students who created this new supercapacitor — Rachel Kenion, Liana Vaccari, and Katie Van Strander — decided that we weren’t using nearly enough of that solar energy and decided to help the cause. Storage of renewable energy is an obstacle standing in front of our road to a clean energy society — the sun doesn’t shine all the time and the wind doesn’t always blow, so you need to store energy for times when production is low. Unfortunately, traditional energy storage units are expensive.

By creating electrodes out of a bi-product from the process of making biodiesel the team of student researchers believes they’ve come up with one solution to bring those high costs down. They’ve also found a way to reuse a by-product that would otherwise be thrown out. “Our goal is eventually to manufacture these electrodes and sell them to a company that already makes supercapacitors. Once supercapacitors become cheaper, they will become more common and be integrated into more and more devices,” Katie Van Strander said.

Via Science Daily

Related Posts

LEAVE A COMMENT

or your inhabitat account below

Let's make sure you're a real person:


5 Comments

  1. urwiukvb June 1, 2011 at 11:26 am

    ZwmaSY ucjpnwkxjkac

  2. bwjewbytx June 1, 2011 at 11:12 am

    EG5xcc ldxpazodoczr

  3. Adelie May 31, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Stands back from the keyboard in amazement! Thkans!

  4. Dillian May 31, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Kewl you suhold come up with that. Excellent!

  5. caeman May 25, 2011 at 8:31 am

    This is a great idea. Given the usefulness of supercapacitors and the fuel efficiency of diesel, this could be a good reason to have more diesel cars, rather than gas-powered.

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home