The increases in demand for clean energy and consider on the change of global climate, researchers have been actively discovering new sustainable energy sources and efficient energy conversion technologies. In among of many efforts, energy conversion technologies have extensively catching research interest regarding both their academic fundamentals and industrial fields. In particular, fuel cells, which directly convert fuels to electric energy with their high energy conversion efficiency, ease of operation, and zero/low emissions out leaving toxic substance, have been considered as promising energy conversion devices in the coming future.
The development of inexpensive, stable, and highly efficient electrocatalyst to accelerate the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) becomes a necessary step for fuel cell to date. Ongoing efforts are centered on replacing Pt and other noble metals with abundant and non-precious metals as prospectively valuable approaches. Graphene (GR) has been pronounced as an excellent supporting material due to high mechanical properties, high conductivity, and high electrochemical activity. More importantly, introduction of heteroatoms such as boron (B), nitrogen (N), sulfur (S), etc. into GR is a highly efficient route to alter the chemical, electrical, and catalytic properties of the final materials. And also, the change of electronic GR structure provides much more electrochemically active sites to improve the ORR performance. Improved fuel cell performance by more than 70%, stability, durability and low cost.
Graphene in batteries
Graphene could dramatically increase the lifespan of a traditional lithium ion battery, meaning devices can be charged quicker – and hold more power for longer. Batteries could be so flexible and light that they could be stitched into clothing.
Graphene supercapacitors could provide massive amounts of power while using much less energy than conventional devices. Because they are light, they could also reduce the weight of cars or planes.
Storing wind and solar power
We’re also investigating graphene’s potential in grid applications and storing wind or solar power with our growing number of commercial partners.
Protects Devices from Surges
When a device is charging, heat is generated based on resistivity of conductor. All of this heat creates a positive feedback loop that can spiral out of control and cause the battery to literally burst into flames.
Enhances Charging Speed
This isn’t ideal, so to prevent from catching on fire, batteries will regulate the speed of charging, but this results in battery charging speeds to slowly crawl.
Enhances Battery Lifespan
Graphene is a near perfect conductor of electricity. This allows electricity to flow without hindrance. This dramatically slows the heating process lithium batteries face while allowing charging speeds up to 5 times as fast. This also increases the battery life by 5 times the charging cycles.
Australian Advanced Materials is developing an ink battery that is able to self-charge within minutes. The cells will be created with a printable ink and designed to generate electricity from humidity in the air or skin surface to self-charge without any manual charging or wired power required.
Source: Small Caps, October 27, 2020
A joint research team from KIER, KAIST, PNU, NTU develops a high-performance re-attachable sticker-type energy storage device. The research findings were published in the world's renowned Chemical Engineering Journal
Source: EurekAlert and AAAS, Apr 14, 2020