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Finding New Ways to Improve Energy Storage


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Electrical energy storage is a big deal as so many technologies are completely reliant on batteries and/or capacitors. This is why so much work is being done to better understand how the storage systems work, to hopefully improve current technologies, or develop new ones. Now researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have discovered how graphene-based supercapacitor electrodes change when in use.


The environments within many energy storage systems can be very hazardous, which has limited our ability to peer inside and see what is going on. Only recently have techniques been developed to watch how electrodes and electrolytes behave while in operation. Now the LLNL researchers have created an X-ray adsorption spectroscopy method to see how the interfaces between electrode and electrolyte in a graphitic supercapacitor behave while charging. This kind of supercapacitor was used because it is stable and very well understood both experimentally and theoretically.


The researchers were able to observe the changes to the electronic structure of the electrodes, while in operation. Potentially these changes could be used to tailor more efficient electrochemical energy storage systems.


Source: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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