Researchers from the NUS Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Initiative (NUSNNI) have developed the world’s first energy-storage membrane. It is claimed to hold 20 times the charge of a traditional lithium ion battery and to be ten times cheaper How fast can this technology with superior charasteristics be scaled up to large scale commercialization ?
This translates to an energy cost of 10-20 watt-hour per US dollar for the membrane, as compared to just 2.5 watt-hour per US dollar for lithium ion batteries. This is 4 to 8 times cheaper.
The research team, led by Principal Investigator Dr Xie Xian Ning, used a polystyrene-based polymer to deposit the soft, foldable membrane converted from organic waste which, when sandwiched between and charged by two graphite plates, can store charge at 0.2 farads per square centimetre. This capability was well above the typical upper limit of 1 microfarad per square centimetre for a standard capacitor. The cost involved in energy storage is also drastically reduced with this invention, from about US$7 to store each farad using existing technologies based on liquid electrolytes to about US$0.62 per farad.
Dr Xie said: “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 supercapacitors.”