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Title: Supercapacitors specialities - Materials review

The electrode material is a key component for supercapacitor cell performance. As it is known, performance comparison of commercial available batteries and supercapacitors reveals significantly lower energy storage capability for supercapacitor devices. The energy density of commercial supercapacitor cells is limited to 10 Wh/kg whereas that of common lead acid batteries reaches 35-40 Wh/kg. For lithium ion batteries a value higher than 100 Wh/kg is easily available. Nevertheless, supercapacitors also known as ultracapacitors or electrochemical capacitors have other advantages in comparison with batteries. As a consequence, many efforts have been made in the last years to increase the storage energy density of electrochemical capacitors. A lot of results from published work (research and review papers, patents and reports) are available at this time. The purpose of this review is a presentation of the progress to date for the use of new materials and approaches for supercapacitor electrodes, with focus on the energy storage capability for practical applications. Many reported results refer to nanostructured carbon based materials and the related composites, used for the manufacture of experimental electrodes. A specific capacitance and a specific energy are seldom revealed as the main result of the performed investigation. Thus for nanoprous (activated) carbonmore » based electrodes a specific capacitance up to 200-220 F/g is mentioned for organic electrolyte, whereas for aqueous electrolyte, the value is limited to 400-500 F/g. Significant contribution to specific capacitance is possible from fast faradaic reactions at the electrode-electrolyte interface in addition to the electric double layer effect. The corresponding energy density is limited to 30-50 Wh/kg for organic electrolyte and to 12-17 Wh/kg for aqueous electrolyte. However such performance indicators are given only for the carbon material used in electrodes. For a supercapacitor cell, where two electrodes and also other materials for cell assembling and packaging are used, the above mentioned values have to be divided by a factor higher than four. As a consequence, the specific energy of a prototype cell, hardly could exceed 10 Wh/kg because of difficulties with the existing manufacturing technology. Graphene based materials and carbon nanotubes and different composites have been used in many experiments reported in the last years. Nevertheless in spite of the outstanding properties of these materials, significant increase of the specific capacitance or of the specific energy in comparison with activated or nanoporous carbon is not achieved. Use of redox materials as metal oxides or conducting polymers in combination with different nanostructured carbon materials (nanocomposite electrodes) has been found to contribute to further increase of the specific capacitance or of the specific energy. Nevertheless, few results are reported for practical cells with such materials. Many results are reported only for a three electrode system and significant difference is possible when the electrode is used in a practical supercapacitor cell. Further improvement in the electrode manufacture and more experiments with supercapacitor cells with the known electrochemical storage materials are required. Device prototypes and commercial products with an energy density towards 15-20 Wh/kg could be realized. These may be a milestone for further supercapacitor device research and development, to narrow the storage energy gap between batteries and supercapacitors.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. National Research and Development Institute for Microtechnologies (IMT-Bucuresti), Bucharest, 126A Erou Iancu Nicolae Street, 077190 (Romania)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22311258
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 1597; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: 1. international Freiberg conference on electrochemical storage materials, Freiberg (Germany), 3-4 Jun 2013; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
25 ENERGY STORAGE; ACTIVATED CARBON; CAPACITANCE; CAPACITIVE ENERGY STORAGE EQUIPMENT; CAPACITORS; CARBON NANOTUBES; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; ELECTROCHEMISTRY; ELECTRODES; ELECTROLYTES; ENERGY DENSITY; ENERGY STORAGE; GRAPHENE; LEAD-ACID BATTERIES; LITHIUM IONS; REVIEWS