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Research touts superior energy storage tech

Posted: 11 Oct 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:energy storage  graphite  capacitor 

Researchers from NUS Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Initiative (NUSNNI) prepare a soft, foldable energy storage membrane that can store 0.2F/cm2, exceeding the typical upper limit of 1µF/cm2 for a standard capacitor, when placed between and charged by two graphite plates.

The membrane uses a polystyrene-based polymer and claims to outgo rechargeable batteries and super capacitors. The cost involved in energy storage is drastically cut with this invention from about Rs.313.90 ($7) to store each farad using existing technologies based on liquid electrolytes to about Rs.27.80 ($0.62), said Xie Xian Ning, who led the team that also included Wang Yuzhan and Wang Qian.

energy-storage membrane

NUS researchers developed a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly energy-storage membrane.

"Compared to rechargeable batteries and supercapacitors, the proprietary membrane allows for very simple device configuration and low fabrication cost. Moreover, the performance of the membrane surpasses those of rechargeable batteries, such as lithium ion and lead-acid batteries, and super capacitors," said Xie.

Supported by grants from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research & Technology (SMART) and the National Research Foundation, the research took about one and a half years to reach its status and the team has successfully filed a U.S. patent for this invention.

"With the advent of our novel membrane, energy storage technology will be more accessible, affordable and producible on a large scale. It is also environmentally-friendly and could change the current status of energy technology," said Xie.

Going forward, the team will explore more applications for the energy storage solution. It is also looking into opportunities to work with venture capitalists to commercialise the invention.

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