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Graphene supercapacitors for storing energy

The number of electronic devices, such as cell phones, computers and tablets that we use regularly, has increased exponentially and they all need an energy source: first it was batteries and everything indicates that in the coming years they will supercapacitors will be a serious competitor, and the graphene will have a lot to do with it.

This is reflected in a study, led by researchers from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) and recently published on the cover of the journal Sustainable Energy & Fuels, where trends in research on graphene superconductors are reviewed, from the use of elements that improve the performance of the electrodes on the large surfaces that this material allows, up to the miniaturization that the increasingly versatile and cheap manufacturing techniques achieve.

A supercapacitor is an energy storage device, allowing charging and discharging in a few seconds, and with graphene, spectacular advances have been made

Javier Martínez Rodrigo (UPM)

“A supercapacitor is a device for storing energy by physical means that allows charging and discharging in a few seconds”, recalls the couator Javier Martinez Rodrigo, “And since in 2008 Stoller described the first graphene supercapacitor, spectacular advances have been made, and ever higher energy and power density has been achieved”

The authors have carried out a double-scale review. On the one hand, they describe the manufacturing techniques with better results in terms of its reproducibility, complexity, time consumption, cost and versatility. On the other hand, the advantages of miniaturizing them in the form of microsupercapacitors, so that they can be integrated into small portable devices.

They could soon be in electronic devices

“Graphene allows us to manufacture supercapacitors with better characteristics (specific capacity, energy density, power), so it can be predicted that they will soon become part of our electronic devices”, point out the co-authors Andres Velasco Y Yu kyoung ryu.

It can replace more expensive, polluting and inefficient commercial components, or complement other energy storage devices, such as lithium batteries in electric vehicles

Fernando Calle (UPM)

“It will be able to replace other more expensive, more polluting and less efficient commercial components, or be used as a complement to other energy storage devices, such as lithium batteries, in electric vehicles”, adds the professor. Fernando Calle.

In addition, its advantages will not remain in the environmental or energy field, but will also extend to fields such as agriculture or biomedicine. Graphene supercapacitors will be able to form part of miniaturized self-powered devices by being integrated with sensors of different types in so-called applications. portable or wearable electronics and the internet of things.

Reference:

Andrés Velasco et al. “Recent Trends in Graphene Supercapacitors: from Large Area to Microsupercapacitors”. Sustainable Energy & Fuels, 2021.

CIEMAT has also collaborated in this work within the framework of a project of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation (MINECO).

Rights: Creative Commons.

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