Researchers from Northwestern University in Illinois USA, have published a paper in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in which they report the creation of supercapacitors made from two cheap and abundant materials: cement and carbon black. The researchers describe mixing water, carbon black and cement together, and letting it cure, creates a structure that is akin to a wiring system, with the carbon forming a wire like network of highly conductive materials which can be charged as a capacitor.
Title: “Carbon–cement supercapacitors as a scalable bulk energy storage solution”
Authors: Nicolas Chanut, Damian Stefaniuk, James C. Weaver,and Franz-Josef Ulm
From the Abstract:
“The large-scale implementation of renewable energy systems necessitates the development of energy storage solutions to effectively manage imbalances between energy supply and demand. Herein, we investigate such a scalable material solution for energy storage in supercapacitors constructed from readily available material precursors that can be locally sourced from virtually anywhere on the planet, namely cement, water, and carbon black. We characterize our carbon-cement electrodes by combining correlative EDS–Raman spectroscopy with capacitance measurements derived from cyclic voltammetry and galvanostatic charge-discharge experiments using integer and fractional derivatives to correct for rate and current intensity effects.”