Deep-Fried Graphene for Energy Storage

The 5-µm-diameter graphene balls in these scanning electron microscope images contain graphene nanosheets radiating outward from the center.Credit: Chem. Mater.

The 5-µm-diameter graphene balls in these scanning electron microscope images contain graphene nanosheets radiating outward from the center.
Credit: Chem. Mater.

Materials scientists have developed a new technique that could provide a simpler and more effective way to produce electrode materials for batteries and supercapacitors, which could potentially lead to devices with improved energy and power densities.

The researchers have unlocked this new battery technology by exposing tiny bits of graphene to a process that is very similar to deep-frying.

Prior to this development, scientists had difficulty using graphene in electrodes due to the difficulty encountered when processing the material. However, the researchers out of Yonsei University have learned how to harness the material’s electrical and mechanical properties while retaining its high surface are by using an alternative technique.

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The Arizona Section of ECS will be hosting a meeting with special guest speaker Professor Robert F. Savinell.

The Arizona Section of ECS will be hosting a meeting with special guest speaker Professor Robert F. Savinell.

Date: January 26, 2014

Time: Networking and refreshments at 6:15 PM; Seminar begins at 7:00 PM

Place: University of Arizona
Tuscon, AZ 85721
Agave Room, 4th Floor of Student Union Building

Cost: Free to attend; $5 for light refreshments

Speaker: Professor Robert F. Savinell
George S. Dively Professor of Electrochemical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University
Professor Savinell is recognized as a leading authority on electrochemical energy storage and conversion. His research has been directed at fundamental science and engineering research for electrochemical systems and novel device design, development, and optimization. Dr. Savinell has over 100 publications and seven patents in the electrochemical field. He is a past chair of ECS’s Electrolytic and Electrochemical Engineering Division, a former editor of the Journal of The Electrochemical Society, and a Fellow of ECS.

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Member Spotlight – Ryohei Mori

The aluminum-air battery has the potential to serve as a short-term power source for electric vehicles.Image: Journal of The Electrochemical Society

The aluminum-air battery has the potential to serve as a short-term power source for electric vehicles.
Image: Journal of The Electrochemical Society

A new long-life aluminum-air battery is set to resolve challenges in rechargeable energy storage technology, thanks to ECS member Ryohei Mori.

Mori’s development has yielded a new type of aluminum-air battery, which is rechargeable by refilling with either salt or fresh water.

The research is detailed in an open access article in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society, where Mori explains how he modified the structure of the previous aluminum-air battery to ensure a longer battery life.

Theoretically, metal-air technology can have very high energy densities, which makes it a promising candidate for next-generation batteries that could enable such things as long-range battery-electric vehicles.

However, the long-standing barrier of anode corrosion and byproduct accumulation have halted these batteries from achieving their full potential. Dr. Mori’s recently published paper, “Addition of Ceramic Barriers to Aluminum-Air batteries to Suppress By-product Formation on Electrodes,” details how to combat this issue.

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A New Generation of Electric Car Battery

Scientists out of the University of Waterloo are one step closer to inventing a cheaper, lighter and more powerful rechargeable battery for electric vehicles. At the heart of this discovery lies a breakthrough in lithium-sulfur batteries due to an ultra-thin nanomaterial.

This from the University of Waterloo:

Their discovery of a material that maintains a rechargeable sulfur cathode helps to overcome a primary hurdle to building a lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery. Such a battery can theoretically power an electric car three times further than current lithium-ion batteries for the same weight – at much lower cost.

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Member Spotlight – Stephen Harris

X-ray absorption spectra, interpreted using first-principles electronic structure calculations, provide insight into the solvation of the lithium ion in propylene carbonate.Image: Rich Saykally, Berkeley Labs

X-ray absorption spectra, interpreted using first-principles electronic structure calculations, provide insight into the solvation of the lithium ion in propylene carbonate.
Image: Rich Saykally, Berkeley Labs

The Electrochemical Society’s Stephen Harris, along with a team of researchers from  Berkeley Lab, have found a possible avenue to a better electrolyte for lithium-ion batteries.

Harris – an expert on lithium-ion batteries and chemist at Berkeley Lab’s Materials Science Division – believes that he and his team have unveiled something that could lead to applying lithium-ion batteries to large-scale energy storage.

Researchers around the world know that in order for lithium-ion batteries to store electrical energy for the gird or power electric cars, they must be improved. The team at Berkeley decided to take on this challenge and found surprising results in the first X-ray absorption spectroscopy study of a model lithium electrode, which has provided a better understanding of the liquid electrolyte.

Previous simulations have predicted a tetrahedral solvation structure for the lithium-ion electrolyte, but the new study yields different results.

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Turning Hydrogen Into “Graphene”

A comparison of the basic ring structure of the carbon compound graphene with that of a similar hydrogen-based structure synthesized by Carnegie scientists.Credit: Carnegie Science

A comparison of the basic ring structure of the carbon compound graphene with that of a similar hydrogen-based structure synthesized by Carnegie scientists.
Credit: Carnegie Science

A new study shows remarkable parallels between hydrogen and graphene under extreme pressures.

The study was conducted by Carnegie’s Ivan Naumov and Russell Hemley, and can be found in the December issue of Accounts of Chemical Research.

Because of hydrogen’s simplicity and abundance, it has long been used as a testing ground for theories of the chemical bond. It is necessary to understand chemical bonding in extreme environments in order to expand our knowledge of a broad range of conditions found in the universe.

It has always been difficult for researchers to observe hydrogen’s behavior under very high pressure, until recently when teams observed the element at pressures of 2-to-3.5 million times the normal atmospheric pressure.

Under this pressure, it transforms into an unexpected structure that consists of layered sheets, rather than close-packed metal – which had been the prediction of scientists many years ago.

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ABAF and IMLB Proceedings for ECS Transactions

With the largest digital collection of electrochemistry and solid state related proceedings, ECST has published 750+ issues and over 16,000 articles since its launch in 2005.

With the largest digital collection of electrochemistry and solid state related proceedings, ECST has published 750+ issues and over 16,000 articles since its launch in 2005.

New issues of ECS Transactions have now been published from the ABAF and IMLB meetings. These meetings are sponsored by The Electrochemical Society. Their dates, volumes, and meeting information is as follows:

Volume 63
15th International Conference on Advanced Batteries, Accumulators and Fuel Cells (ABAF 2014), Brno, Czech Republic, August 24-28, 2014

Volume 62
17th International Meeting on Lithium Batteries (IMLB 2014), Como, Italy, June 10-14, 2014

Issues are continuously updated and all full-text papers will be published here as soon as they are available.

Get currently published issues of ECST.

To be notified of newly published articles or volumes, please subscribe to the ECST RSS feed.

Glasgow_blog_imageThe ECS Conference on Electrochemical Energy Conversion & Storage with SOFC-XIV is an international conference convening in Glasgow, July 26-31, 2015, and is devoted to the following areas:

  • Section A: Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC-XIV)–All aspects of research, development, and engineering of solid oxide fuel cells
  • Section B: Batteries–A wide range of topics related to battery technologies
  • Section C: Low Temperature Fuel Cells–Low-temperature fuel cells, electrolyzers, and redox flow cells

This is the first of a series of planned biennial conferences in Europe by The Electrochemical Society on electrochemical energy conversion/storage materials, concepts, and systems, with the intent to bring together scientists and engineers to discuss both fundamental advances and engineering innovations.

This major international conference will be held at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow and includes a full day of short courses followed by a Sunday evening welcome reception, technical presentations scheduled Monday-Friday, a dynamic technical exhibit, poster sessions, guest and award winning lecturers, and much more.

Please visit the Glasgow meeting page for the most up-to-date information regarding hotel accommodations, registration, short courses, special events and to review the online technical program.

Important Deadlines

  • Friday, February 20, 2015 – Deadline for submitting your abstracts. Submit now.
  • Take advantage of exhibition and sponsorship opportunities, submit your application by April 24, 2015.
  • Discounted hotel options will be available until June 15, 2015 or until the blocks sell out, reserve early!
  • Early-bird registration opens in March 2015, early-bird pricing will be available through June 15, 2015.

PS: Don’t forget, as a meeting attendee you are eligible for an Article Credit which allows you to publish a paper with ECS as Open Access with no further payment from either you or your institution. Find out more!

Helping Medicine with Graphene Quantum Dots

Researchers from the University of Sydney have recently published their findings that quantum dots made of graphene can improve bio-imaging and LEDs.

The study was published in the journal Nanoscale, where the scientists detailed how activating graphene quantum dots produced a dot that would shine nearly five times bright than the conventional equivalent.

Essentially, the dots are nano-sized semiconductors, which are fluorescent due to their surface properties. However, this study introduces the utilization of graphene in the quantum dot, which produces an extra-bright dot that has the potential to help medicine.

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Member Spotlight – Vilas Pol

Vilas Pol has assisting in discovering a nanoparticle network that could bright fast-charging batteries. He joined the Society in 2012.Credit: Argonne National Laboratory

Vilas Pol has assisted in the discovery of a nanoparticle network that could bring fast-charging batteries. He joined the Society in 2012.
Credit: Argonne National Laboratory

The Electrochemical Society’s Vilas Pol, along with a team of Purdue University researchers, has developed a nanoparticle network that could produce very fast-charging batteries.

This new electrode design for lithium-ion batteries has been shown to potentially reduce the charging time from hours to minutes, all by replacing the conventional graphite electrode with a network of tin-oxide nanoparticles.

This from Purdue University:

The researchers have performed experiments with a “porous interconnected” tin-oxide based anode, which has nearly twice the theoretical charging capacity of graphite. The researchers demonstrated that the experimental anode can be charged in 30 minutes and still have a capacity of 430 milliamp hours per gram (mAh g−1), which is greater than the theoretical maximum capacity for graphite when charged slowly over 10 hours.

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