Graphene Polyacene Capacitor Battery.
On May 16, 2016, China’s latest generation of graphene capacitor batteries achieved a significant breakthrough in the field of high-energy storage power sources, developed by the Polyacene Composite Materials Company in Zhuhai.
This new structure of an all-carbon capacitor battery was developed after three years of hard work by the research and development teams of the Harbin Institute of Technology’s electrochemical research team and the Zhuhai Polyacene Composite Materials Company. Mid-term testing revealed that this battery has a high energy density, high power density, high charge-discharge efficiency, good performance at both high and low temperatures, long cycle life, safety and environmental friendliness, and high cost-effectiveness. It effectively addresses bottlenecks in domestic civilian energy storage and electric vehicle power technologies. When widely used, it will significantly alleviate urban air pollution caused by automobile exhaust and reduce overall operating costs. Expert appraisals have deemed this technology to be internationally advanced and domestically leading, marking a significant technical breakthrough in China’s energy storage and all-electric vehicle power source fields.
The core technology’s secret lies in adopting a comprehensive performance balance design approach, cleverly introducing a novel graphene-based composite carbon material into the positive and negative electrodes of the capacitor battery. This achieves the integration of ordinary supercapacitors and high-energy batteries, thereby combining the excellent performance of both ordinary supercapacitors and rechargeable batteries.
Graphene all-carbon capacitor batteries are versatile new power sources. They can address electric vehicle power issues and can also be used in surface ships, submarines, drones, missiles, and aerospace applications. Especially its unique safety performance will have a profound impact on the development of the electric vehicle industry. This product combines the energy density of lithium-ion batteries with the power density of supercapacitors. According to new national standards, it can withstand over 4,000 charge cycles and has a usage temperature range from -30°C to 70°C. While ensuring a certain driving range, it can achieve rapid charging with high currents and an extremely long cycle life.
The advantages of the new graphene all-carbon capacitor battery are its large energy storage capacity. It converts electrical energy into chemical energy and then releases it as electrical energy. Its energy density already exceeds that of the most advanced lithium-ion batteries, and its power density is comparable to that of supercapacitors. Structurally, it integrates the features of both batteries and traditional capacitors, achieving the best of both worlds.
Safety and stability: The new graphene polyacene capacitor battery remains unaffected even when short-circuited with a nail gun after being fully charged. It doesn’t explode even when exposed to fire.
Fast charging speed: Graphene polyacene batteries can be charged with a large current of 10C. A single battery can be fully charged in just 6 minutes, and when connected in series, over 95% charge can be achieved in 10 minutes.
High power density: It can reach 200W/kg to 1000W/kg, which is more than three times that of lithium-ion batteries.
Excellent low-temperature characteristics: It can work in environments as cold as -30°C.
Now, the question arises, can supercapacitors and lithium batteries be combined?
Supercapacitors (also known as ultracapacitors or electrochemical capacitors) are a type of electrochemical component that stores energy through the polarization of an electrolyte, bridging the gap between traditional capacitors and batteries. It relies on the double-layer effect and redox pseudocapacitance to store energy, and its energy storage process doesn’t involve chemical reactions. Because of this, supercapacitors can endure repeated charging and discharging for hundreds of thousands of cycles. Its core principle is similar to other types of double-layer capacitors, using a porous activated carbon electrode and an electrolyte to achieve high capacity.
On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries utilize lithium metal or lithium alloy as the negative electrode material and a non-aqueous electrolyte solution. They undergo electrochemical reactions during charging and discharging. Lithium-ion batteries have been in use for quite some time and have become mainstream power sources due to their energy density and efficiency.
In essence, supercapacitors (double-layer capacitors) are capacitors that store relatively less energy, while lithium-ion batteries are chemical batteries that store more energy. Supercapacitors have high power density, whereas lithium-ion batteries have high energy density.
The graphene capacitor battery’s key advantage is its large energy storage capacity. It converts energy between electrical and chemical forms and can release it as electrical energy. Its energy density exceeds even that of top-tier lithium-ion batteries, and its power density approaches that of supercapacitors. Structurally, it integrates the qualities of both batteries and traditional capacitors, combining their strengths.
- Safety and stability: The new graphene polyacene capacitor battery remains unaffected even when short-circuited with a nail gun after being fully charged. It doesn’t explode even when exposed to fire.
- Fast charging speed: Graphene polyacene batteries can be charged with a large current of 10C. A single battery can be fully charged in just 6 minutes, and when connected in series, over 95% charge can be achieved in 10 minutes.
- High power density: It can reach 200W/kg to 1000W/kg, which is more than three times that of lithium-ion batteries.
- Excellent low-temperature characteristics: It can work in environments as cold as -30°C.
However, can supercapacitors and lithium-ion batteries be combined?
Supercapacitors, also known as ultracapacitors or electrochemical capacitors, double-layer capacitors (electric double-layer capacitors), gold capacitors, and Faraday capacitors, are a type of electrochemical component that emerged in the late 20th century, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s. They store energy through the polarization of an electrolyte.
Different from traditional chemical power sources, supercapacitors exist between conventional capacitors and batteries as a unique type of power source. They mainly rely on the double-layer effect and pseudocapacitance based on redox reactions to store electrical charges. Importantly, the energy storage process in supercapacitors doesn’t involve chemical reactions. This reversible energy storage process allows supercapacitors to undergo hundreds of thousands of charge and discharge cycles. The fundamental principle of supercapacitors is similar to other types of double-layer capacitors, utilizing activated carbon porous electrodes and an electrolyte to achieve high capacity.
The key advantages of supercapacitors include high power density, short charge-discharge times, long cycle life, a wide operating temperature range, making them the largest capacity type of double-layer capacitors currently in mass production globally.
Lithium-ion batteries, on the other hand, are a class of batteries that use lithium metal or lithium alloy as the negative electrode material and non-aqueous electrolyte solutions. The earliest form of lithium-ion batteries can be attributed to the great inventor Thomas Edison, and they operate through the following reaction:
Li + MnO2 = LiMnO2, which involves a redox reaction during discharge. Due to the highly reactive nature of lithium metal, its processing, storage, and use require strict environmental conditions. As a result, lithium-ion batteries weren’t widely utilized for a long time. However, with advancements in science and technology, lithium-ion batteries have now become mainstream.
In essence, supercapacitors (double-layer capacitors) are capacitors, storing relatively less energy. Lithium-ion batteries, on the other hand, are chemical batteries, storing more energy. Supercapacitors have high power density, while lithium-ion batteries have high energy density.
Both supercapacitors and lithium-ion batteries share the ability to store energy. The key difference is that supercapacitors can be charged and discharged almost instantaneously, thanks to their unique energy storage mechanism.