Washington: Researchers from Oregon State University (OSU) have discovered a new way to use some of the atmospheric carbon dioxide behind the greenhouse effect to make an advanced, high-value material for use in energy storage products.
This innovation in nanotechnology will not soak up enough carbon to solve global warming, researchers say.
“However, it will provide an environmentally friendly, low-cost way to make 'nanoporous graphene' for use in 'supercapacitors' - devices that can store energy and release it rapidly,” said Xiulei Ji, assistant professor of chemistry in the OSU's college of science.
A supercapacitor is a type of energy storage device but it can be recharged much faster than a battery and has a great deal more power.
They are being used in consumer electronics and have applications in heavy industry - with the ability to power anything from a crane to a forklift.
In the chemical reaction that was developed, the end result was nanoporous graphene.
It has an electrical conductivity at least 10 times higher than the activated carbon now used to make commercial supercapacitors.
“The product exhibits high surface area, great conductivity and, most importantly, it has a fairly high density that is comparable to the commercial activated carbons,” Ji said.
“And the carbon source is carbon dioxide which is a sustainable resource, to say the least,” Ji added.
This methodology uses abundant carbon dioxide while making energy storage products of significant value.
Because the materials involved are inexpensive and the fabrication is simple, this approach has the potential to be scaled up for production at commercial levels, authors concluded.
The findings were published in the journal Nano Energy.