GERMI develops biodegradable paper supercapacitor from seaweed  


Researchers at Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI) have developed a seaweed-based anode material to make a paper supercapacitor with excellent super capacitive behavior. This paper supercapacitor is fully biodegradable and is claimed to be the thinnest and fastest charging (can be fully charged within 10 seconds).  

The paper supercapacitor uses rGO‑ZnO nanowire-deposited seaweed cellulose as the anode material and has a greater energy density of 5.21 Wh/kg and a series resistance of 2.16 Ω. It finds application in various energy storage domains including electric vehicles. 

A supercapacitor is an electrochemical charge storage device with a fast charging/ discharging cycle, high power density, and a long lifecycle. It is an electrochemical double-layer capacitor that can fill up the gap between the capacitors and batteries for high energy density, though it has low energy density and appears difficult to replace the battery.  

Lead researchers Priyank Bhutiya and Syed Zaheer Hassan extracted cellulose nanofibers from seaweed and grew rGO-ZnO nanowires over seaweed cellulose nanofibers by using a single-step hydrothermal method. Green seaweed Cheatomorpha antennia was collected from the Porbandar area of Gujarat.

Chaetomorpha antennia seaweed

Image: GERMI


The developed electrode is used in an asymmetrical supercapacitor by sandwiching NaCl electrolyte-soaked paper separator between the rGO-ZnO seaweed cellulose nanocomposite and activated charcoal powder slurry coated nickel foil.  

“Dr. Brijesh Tripathi from Pandit Deendayal Energy University (PDEU) tested this device till 6,000 cycles for performance and observed the same performance in all cycles without any degradation. The device was tested using various analytical techniques,” said the researchers.  

The research team also included Abdul Rasheed, P.L.S. Rao, and Rahul Kapadiya from GERMI. 

The research work is published in BioNanoscience journal (a Springer publication) and patented. 


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