SUNDSVALL, Sweden, Jan. 30, 2018 (Press Release) -Britta Andres has been awarded the Alf de Ruvo scholarship of 250 000 SEK for her work on low-cost environmentally friendly electric double-layer capacitors at Mid Sweden University’s research centre FSCN
Supercapacitors are energy storage devices that can complement or partially replace batteries. By using the materials, production techniques and concept improvements proposed in the thesis, it is possible to lower the cost of supercapacitors up to 90 percent compared with commercial supercapacitors. The research is interesting for the automotive industry, now when the demand for electric cars increases. Today, electric cars are expensive and the big batteries are heavy investment costs.
The research shows that paper-based supercapacitors are a very promising alternative on the energy market. There is a change from fossil energy sources to renewable sources in our society, but it requires environmentally friendly and cost-effective batteries and supercapacitors. Today's batteries and supercapacitors often contain expensive, rare or toxic materials.
"Our paper-based supercapacitors meet the requirements for environmentally friendly storage devices for electrical energy and they also have a high power density. If our products can be further developed and produced in larger scale, they have great potential to support the transition to environmentally sustainable supercapacitors and other green energy technologies" says Britta Andres.
To meet the high environmental standards, only paper, graphite and saltwater are used. Paper is used as a separator between the electrodes as well as a substrate for the electrode coating. Graphite is used as active electrode material and saltwater acts as electrolyte.
"We have also found a unique method and use of micro- and nanofibrillated cellulose from wood fibres as binders. Cellulose increases the dispersion stability1 and improves the mechanical stability and electrical properties of the electrodes. Microfibrillated cellulose2 provides the best properties for supercapacitors, says Britta Andres.
Andres has a multidisciplinary background in Material Science, Chemistry and Physics. In 2010, she received a Bachelor of Science in Bio- and Nanotechnology from South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences in Iserlohn, Germany. Subsequently she started studying within the program of Master by Research in Pulp and Paper Technology at Mid Sweden University. In 2012 she finished her postgraduate studies and received a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering. Afterwards she started her research studies in Engineering Physics and defended her Licentiate Thesis with the title “Paper-based Supercapacitors” in 2014. In 2017 she defended her PhD Thesis with the title "Low-Cost, Environmentally Friendly Electric-Double Layer Capacitors".
The core of SCA’s business is the forest, 2.6 million hectares in northern Sweden. Around this unique resource, we have built a well-developed value chain based on renewable raw material from our own and others’ forests.
We offer paper for packaging and print, pulp, wood products, renewable energy, services for forest owners and efficient transport solutions.
2016 the forest products company SCA had approximately 4,000 employees and sales amounted to approximately SEK 15,4 bn (EUR 1,6 bn). SCA was founded in 1929 and has its headquarters in Sundsvall, Sweden.
- Dispersability is the ability of a dispersion to resist changes over time, which means how long time it will take for a dispersion to be destabilized through sedimentation or other processes. The dispersion stability describes the "life length” of a dispersion.
- Microfibrillated cellulose is composed of fibrils, which have been isolated from wood fibres (paper making fibres) through delamination. The word microfibril describes that the fibrils have a size in the range of micrometers.