A study published today in the world-class journal Science is presenting a new mechanism lending a better energy density in supercapacitors. Four scientists from CIRIMAT (a lab located in Toulouse, France): Yohann Dall’Agnese, Patrick Rozier, Pierre-Louis Taberna and Patrice Simon participated to the study. Professor Simon is the associate director of RS2E.
The link between US and French scientists was strengthened by the presence of Yohann Dall’Agnese, a PhD student in joint supervision between the two universities, whose work contributed to the results.
Researchers used materials called MXenes made of thin layers in-between which ions and molecules can be intercalated. As a consequence, capacitance up to 2 to 3 times higher than previously reported are displayed.
During a trip to Argonne National Laboratory (American lab dedicated to the field of energy), Pr. Jean-Marie Tarascon received an award For Oustanding Basic & Applied Research on Lithium Batteries for Automotive Applications. Pr. Feng Wu (Beijing Institute of Technology) is the other recipient of the award.
The prize was delivered by Pr. Ogumi (Kyoto University) and Dr. Ralph Brodd (chair of the IALB association).
Last 8th of July, a synthesis of propositions were presented by elected representatives of French regions to the Minister of Ecology. The propositions were supported by nearly 170.000 citizens in local meetings organized during the course of the French National Debate on the Energy Transition.
Proposition 13 is the most exciting in regard of RS2E’s field of work. Backed by 15 regions it suggests the following: « Strongly develop research on energy storage and invest massively in networks evolution. […] Mobilize a massive investment program in the field of research on energy storage and multiply demonstrators ».
In the autumn a bill will be presented for debate before French Parliament, proposition 13 might be included in the draft. In the meantime, the RS2E research network would like to thank all the people involved in the debate that supported this proposition.
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From San Francisco to New York, Solar Impulse is promoting and demonstrating solar flight. To achieve its goal the plane carries 12.000 photovoltaic cells (for a total area of 200m²) and four batteries weighting 100kg each (energy density: 240 Wh/kg). It is currently staying at Dallas (Texas) and will soon take off for its next destination: Saint Louis (Missouri). The plane will reach its final destination (Kennedy Airport, New-York) in July 2013.
Being the object of advanced technologies (wingspan of 63 meters for a total weight of 1.6 ton) Solar Impulse is one of the few airplanes capable of flying across great distances (personal record of 1541km) without using any fossil energy. Greener modes of transport are getting closer!
The plane carries around 11 products manufactured by Solvay, an industrial partner of the RS2E. These products are as diverse as battery additives, structural and insulation materials or lubricants.
A French-Canadian team (including researchers from the “Institut des Matériaux Jean Rouxel” from Nantes, a member of the RS2E network) proposes a new technique to reuse the silicon from out-of-use solar panels as electrode material.
To achieve this goal the researchers ground the recovered silicon before adding carbon to the resulting micrometric powder. The mixture is then used to make a negative electrode. According to the study, this technique is a 100 times less expensive than directly creating such micrometric silicon particles. The properties displayed by the silicon-based electrodes are also encouraging since they could sustain up to 900 cycles of charges/discharges.
However, barriers still remain. Even if these electrodes allow the storage of 10 times more electrons than graphite electrodes do, they suffer from a significant volume variation during its use leading to a more fragile structure. Researchers are already working on alternatives to eschew this issue such as applying cupper foam to the electrode surface.