To Charge or to Capture: ‘Tis No Longer a Question

As the world looks to new, innovative ways to preserve our global environment, scientists at the University of Cambridge have designed a new supercapacitor, capable of both providing rechargeable energy - and also removing harmful carbon dioxide from the air around it.


Built in part using coconut shells, the design (written about in the May 2022 issue of Nanoscale) uses two electrodes of positive and negative charge, allowing the supercapacitor - itself like a longer lasting, smaller storage version of a rechargeable battery - to capture carbon dioxide, and dissolve into an water-based electrolyte akin to seawater.


To this point, carbon capture has been a notoriously expensive, difficult and energy-intensive process; with a supercapacitor the size of a quarter, however, the potential for a more affordable product, made from abundantly available organic materials, could potentially be a breakthrough for a young industry trying to think outside the box in fighting climate change.

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