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Supercapacitor Nano-architecture Using Bicarbon-based Materials Derived From Plant Cellulose


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials, Electronics 

OBJECTIVE: Develop a Supercapacitor using bicarbon-based materials derived from plant cellulose. 

DESCRIPTION: This topic seeks to address a manufacturing technology objective to provide an environmentally friendly alternative to common precious metals and chemicals currently used in supercapacitors by demonstrating the supercapacitive properties of bio-carbon materials derived from plant cellulose. Supercapacitor devices are charged to exhibit high power densities and long lifetimes. These properties allow supercapacitors to bridge the gap in performance between batteries and fuel cells. Some supercapacitors utilize precious metals and/or toxic chemicals to achieve top performance. An in-depth understanding of the nanostructure over multiple length scales is paramount to optimize performance and to design better devices. 

PHASE I: Identify candidate materials derived from plant cellulose and predict/characterize their capacitance properties in order to optimize their supercapacitor properties. Verify stable capacitance of a proof-of-concept bicarbon based environmentally friendly supercapacitor that can meet a minimum 100 Farad capacitance with an objective 500 Farads for 10,000 recharge cycles with operating voltages between 2 and 4 Volts. 

PHASE II: Develop prototype supercapacitor(s) that can demonstrate the Phase I capacitance design parameters. Characterize the cellulose nano-architecture performance and the stability of the materials across a typical military system life time of 10-20 years by utilizing accelerated life testing methods. 

PHASE III: Establish a partnership with a current or potential supplier of missile defense applications, or a commercial vendor. Integrate the developed technology into a missile defense or commercial application. Evaluate the performance of the technology in a real-world situation. 


1: Sustainable Energy Fuels, Royal Society of Chemistry, University College London, London.

2:  IEEE transactions on sustainable energy: October 2012.

KEYWORDS: Supercapacitor; Biotechnology; Materials; Plant Cellulose; Capacitor; Bicarbon; Nanotechnology 

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