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Carbon nanotube structures as innovative electrode materials for more efficient energy storage devices

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Carbon nanotechnology boosts energy

Ensuring a reliable energy supply in a sustainable and cost-effective way is one of the key challenges of the 21st century. Improved capacitor and battery technology based on carbon nanotubes will make an important contribution.

Energy

The world is turning to alternatives to fossil fuels and their combustion to offset diminishing fuel supplies and increasing emissions. Efficient capture, storage and controlled release of energy for more sustainable energy systems are required. All-electric vehicles are penetrating markets at increasing rates and many technologies are on the verge of commercialisation. Given the volume of road transport worldwide, these technologies promise dramatic impact on the global energy landscape. A fruitful collaboration between Israel and the United States has led to important improvements in energy storage and conversion devices for this sector and more. Researchers exploited carbon nanotechnology within the context of the EU-funded project NANOTUBE ENERGY. Scientists focused on increasing the power of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, supercapacitors for very-high–density applications and lead acid batteries for enhanced load levelling. The carbon nanotube-based electrodes significantly enhanced the performance of the supercapacitors and lead acid batteries. They had negligible impact on the performance of lithium-ion batteries. Comprehensive development work on electrode materials, geometries and production techniques was of particular importance. Results have been widely published in 15 peer-reviewed articles and have strengthened the positions of the researchers and labs involved in the project. The technology has advanced the state of the art of energy conversion and storage, and thus makes an important contribution to the uptake of sustainable alternatives.

Keywords

Carbon nanotechnology, energy, battery technology, carbon nanotubes, electric vehicles, lithium-ion, supercapacitors, lead acid, load levelling, energy conversion

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