Australia has supercapacitors made from graphene oxide. They can can store as much energy per kilogram as a lithium battery, but charges in minutes, or even seconds, and uses carbon instead of expensive lithium.
Large-scale production of the graphene that would be needed to produce these high-performance supercapacitors was once unachievable.
By using low-cost solution-based film synthesis techniques and a laser 3D printer, the researchers are able to produce graphene on a large scale at low cost.
In addition, the supercapacitors are very strong and flexible, and can therefore also be used to develop extremely flexible and thin batteries that could be built into wearable clothing and other personal accessories.
Swinburne University of Technology overcomes the energy density limitations with supercapacitors, achieving the following potential advantages;
• 10x better energy density than competing devices
• 10,000x faster charge/discharge rates
• 10,000 charge/discharge cycles
• ultra thin and ultra light in weight
• highly flexible and integratable
• environmentally friendly due to the absence of chemicals
• Efficiencies offered through the use of laser printing technology and graphene oxide to create an ultra-efficient energy storage medium in a greatly simplified process.
• Innovative inter-digital design provides for a much shorter ionic path to maximise energy and power density.
• First Graphite Limited is to underwrite the spending of $2 million over a two year period to earn a 60% interest in the company that holds the international license
The current proof-of-concept device has performed slightly higher than current batteries but with all of the advantages that come with physical storage of energy as opposed to chemical storage. The University believes that with additional product development and up-scaling the BEST (Bolt Energy Storage Technology) Battery can be taken from a laboratory success to a commercial prototype within the period of the Agreement.