Saturday, 2 July 2011

Carbon sponge - like a supercapacitor

For a while now, people have been worried about how companies can store the energy that they make. This is a big problem with renewable energy. There are going to be times when the wind is blowing a lot more than what can be used. This extra energy should be stored to be used at a time when the wind is not blowing as much.
Well researchers at the University of Texas have now invented a new kind of carbon that actually acts like a sponge that can absorb energy. The truth of the matter is that this so-called “energy sponge” contains tiny nanometer-sized pores. They also feature curved atom-thick walls.
Overall, this means that it can hold a charge very similar to that of a battery. It can absorb and release energy in real-time. The lifespan of these charge sponges would be about 10,000 charges. This makes them ideal for use in a common storage device like a “supercapacitor.”
For those that do not know, a supercapacitor is an electric double layer capacitor that stores more charges. This is all thanks to the double layer created at an electrolyte electrode interface when a voltage is applied.
Alright, some of this information may be lost in translation to common folk, but what people should note about this is the simple fact that this carbon sponge opens the door to better energy storage. Leading researchers said that they are looking to further improve this new carbon. In order to do this, however, they will have to receive further funding so that they can continue their research on the material.

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