Wide Temperature Performing Electrolytes and Cost-Effective Carbon Nanofiber Electrodes for High Performance Supercapacitors
Jayawickramage, Rangana Aloka L. Perera
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Supercapacitors, or electrochemical double layer capacitors, are energy storage devices that store energy electrostatically at the electrode-electrolyte interface. Supercapacitors exhibit higher power density and lower charge time than batteries, but they fall behind batteries in terms of energy density. Currently there is a considerable amount of research being carried out on increasing the energy density of supercapacitors. Also, supercapacitors are safer and more environmentally friendly than batteries. Supercapacitors have the potential of performing over a wide temperature window and can overtake batteries for low temperature applications. The performance of a supercapacitor can be enhanced by increasing the surface area and optimizing the pore size distribution of electrode materials and by using electrolytes with wide working potential window. Chapter 1 gives a basic introduction on supercapacitors and fabrication of electrode materials. It focuses on high surface area carbon nanofiber electrodes, thermal treatments and ionic liquid electrolytes. Chapter 2 describes a high performing ionic liquid electrolyte system which can perform from -50 ⁰C to 100 ⁰C. Chapter 3 reports on carbon nanofiber electrodes, derived from lignin: polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) blends as a cost effective and environmentally friendly precursor for supercapacitor application. Chapter 4 relates to the high surface area carbon nanofiber electrodes derived from PAN:Lignin polymer blends for high performance supercapacitors. Here, the incorporation of the advantageous properties of both PAN and Lignin as carbon sources and higher etch rate of lignin under CO₂ as partial sacrificial polymer on performance of supercapacitors were investigated.