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Carbon Aerogels and Ultracapacitors PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Allen   
Sunday, 13 April 2008

Carbon AerogelLet's recap Carbon Aerogels - they are solid substances similar to gels but where the internal liquid is replaced with air.  Aerogels are so porous and lightweight that they are sometimes called "solid smoke" or "blue smoke".  Touching aerogel feels like styrofoam.

They are typically 50-99.5% air, yet can hold (theoretically) 500 to 4,000 times their weight in applied force. Aerogel can have surface areas ranging from 250 to 3,000 square meters per gram,  so in theroy, a  cubic inch of aerogel flattened out would have more surface area than an entire football field.   Aerogel has 15 entries  in the Guinness Book of World  Records, including best insulator and lowest density solid.

This technology will improve ultracapacitors by swapping in carbon nanotubes. This greatly increase the surface area of the electrodes and the ability to store energy since the amount of energy ultracaps can hold is related to the surface area and conductivity of electrodes.  So.. since they have a extremely high surface area, carbon aerogels are used to create ultracapacitors with values ranging up to thousands of farads. 

Currently, Carbon Aerogels represent one of the lowest density solids available on the market and can be produced as thin films, powders, monoliths, or micro spheres. The main problem so far has been the cost. Nano materials tend to be a hundred or thousand times more expensive than conventional dielectric materials.

MIT's Lab has been working on the ability to charge electronic items (phones, ipods, gadgets) in minutes and never having to replace a battery again. Can you imagine fully charging your mobile phone in a couple of minutes?   Get ready.. the day is coming...

Greg

Example of Carbon Aerogel Insulation
Example of aerogel's insulation properties
Readers have left 7 comments.
 No.1  Carbon Aerogel
there is a company making ultracaps made with carbon aerogel now.

Their maximum voltage is 2.5 v and can achieve the energy density of 325 kJ/kg - about 70% of what is provided by the lithium polymer battery.
Guest (Unregistered) • 2008-04-13 20:51:47
 No.2  Re: Carbon Aerogel
Is valuable; thanks for the input.
I want you to show the company if possible.
there is a company making ultracaps made with carbon aerogel now.

Their maximum voltage is 2.5 v and can achieve the energy density of 325 kJ/kg - about 70% of what is provided by the lithium polymer battery.
— Guest
a77a (Registered) • 2008-04-14 22:07:11
 No.3  Untitled
Cooper Electronics
Guest (Unregistered) • 2008-04-15 07:28:32
 No.4  Untitled
I just looked at the data sheets for Cooper Bussman capacitors, and their aerogel capacitors don't look like they have particular high energy density. I might be doing the calculation incorrectly, but it looks closer to about 1 Kj/Kg, not 300. Which series of capacitor are you talking about?

(Btw, is there a way to actually provide the link to their data sheet page? I can't find a way to input that in this comment.)
Guest (Unregistered) • 2008-04-15 09:38:52
 No.5  Untitled
you can add links in as a "website" when you enter the comment or paste the link into a comment.

anil
anil (Unregistered) • 2008-04-15 09:51:58
 No.6  Re: Aerogel Capacitor
I think he refers to the 50F, 2.5V, 14.71g B1840-2R5506-R CooperBussmann aerogel ultracapacitor (datasheet is in the website link). The energy density sits at 10.6 kJ/kg, though.
Guest (Unregistered) • 2008-05-15 11:25:05
 No.7  Untitled
COMPARED WITH MAXWELL -CARBOB-CARBON TYPE ,ENERGY DENSITY IS LESS IN AEROGEL
NANOSTRUCTURED ELECTRODES/GRAPHITE ASSYMETRICAL TYPE WILL GIVE 325 kJ/KG
BUT THESE ARE YET TO BE COST EFFECTIVE
Guest (Unregistered) • 2008-06-17 05:31:03
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