High-Performance Carbon Materials for Ultracapacitors

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-01ER83137
Agency Tracking Number: 65805S01-II
Amount: $0.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
87 Church Street, East Hartford, CT, 06108
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Marek Wojtowicz
 (860) 528-9806
Business Contact
 Michael Serio
Title: 65805
Phone: (860) 528-9806
Email: mcerio@afrinc.com
Research Institution
65805 High rate energy storage devices, such as ultracapacitors, are a critical enabling technology for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV). The best electrode materials for use in electric double-layer capacitors (EDLC) possess three characteristics: (1) high surface area; (2) high electrical conductivity; and (3) surface area easily accessible by electrolyte. While ruthenium-based ultracapacitors exhibit almost ideal characteristics, the ruthenium was found to be too expensive for the large-scale manufacture of ultracapacitors. As an alternative, specialty carbon materials could satisfy these characteristics at reasonably low cost, provided that the pore-size distribution could be controlled. This project will develop high-performance carbon materials for ultracapacitors, using a proprietary carbon manufacturing technique that would ensure good control over the critical characteristics. Phase I demonstrated that the proprietary carbon material exhibited a capacitance per unit weight of ~100-200 F/g, up to ~30% better than the capacitance of the best cabon-fiber electrodes currently used. On a per-unit-volume basis, the electrodes were 3-4 times better than the reference electrodes. A preliminary economic analysis indicated cost reductions 4-10 times lower. In Phase II, an extensive parametric study will be performed with the purpose of optimizing ultracapacitor performance and cost. In addition, a series of prototype HEV ultracapacitors will be constructed and evaluated. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: A robust, versatile technique for manufacturing inexpensive, high-performance carbon ultracapacitors should have primary applications in hybrid power systems for electric cars and in fuel cells. Additional applications include high rate, short pulse delivery of large charges (such as pulsed lasers); power-supply low-frequency smoothing; and a variety of military, medical (defibrillators), telecommunications, and computer systems.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government