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Leading the charge with Game Changing Supercapacitors

Posted By Graphene Council, Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Working closely with the University of Manchester, First Graphene Ltd. has developed high performing materials for the manufacture of Game Changing Supercapacitors.

First Graphene were quick to recognise the potential of the technology for the manufacture of high-performing supercapacitor devices. The company also realised that the materials could be manufactured using their existing graphene manufacturing capabilities and a worldwide, exclusive licence agreement was signed in September 2019.

The need for a Game Changing Supercapacitors has been confirmed by end-users in the aerospace, marine engineering, electric vehicle and utility storage sectors. The company continues to receive regular enquiries from end-users in these sectors.

The materials were first isolated in the research teams of Professor Robert Dryfe and Professor Ian Kinloch at the University of Manchester.

Prof. Robert Dryfe comments "Our research has developed a route to produce state-of-the-art materials, combining the attractive properties of graphene materials and metal oxides. The initial work showed that these materials could have significant applications in energy storage”.

Our global appetite for energy continues to grow at an alarming rate, driven by population growth, increasing urbanisation and improving standards of living.

At the same time, the environmental imperative to reduce the carbon emissions associated with energy consumption is driving changes in the way we make, distribute and use energy. Traditional carbon dioxide (CO2)-generating energy sources are being replaced by cleaner, renewable sources. For these greener energy sources to be effective, a new generation of energy storage and distribution is required.

Chemical batteries such as lithium ion have achieved widespread adoption for energy storage across industry sectors, such as mobile devices and electric vehicles as they offer high power-density, mobility and multiple charges. Even lithium ion batteries have not reached full adoption in high-volume industries where high cost, high weight, range anxiety and long charging times are concerns.

Supercapacitors are being evaluated as an alternative and complementary energy storage device that offer high power-density and short charging times. They are already used in laptops, actuators and some electric vehicles. When combined with lithium-ion batteries the supercapacitor enables higher power charging and discharging and the use of a lighter, lower cost Li-ion battery.

It is clear that industry needs Game Changing Supercapacitor storage devices with high energy density and high-power density. The devices must have rapid and safe charging through multiple cycles.

The new supercapacitor materials were first isolated at the university by Professor Robert Dryfe and Professor Ian Kinloch. By extending their work on the electrochemical manufacture of graphene materials they were able to synthesise graphene materials decorated with metal oxide nanostructures that show great promise for high performing supercapacitor devices, materials with very high capacitance of up to 500 Farads/gram were isolated which outperform existing materials[1].

First Graphene Ltd. is a Tier 1 partner in the Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre at the University of Manchester and have an excellent working relationship with the academic groups at the University.

Andy Goodwin, Chief Technology Officer of First Graphene Ltd., remembers “In a presentation by Professor Kinloch our attention was drawn to these high value hybrid-graphene materials and it was clear that the materials could be manufactured by a process that we already operated at tonnage scale. We started licence negotiations immediately.”

Since the licence agreement was concluded the technology has benefitted from UK government support through an EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Council) project to transfer the technology from the University laboratories to First Graphene laboratories. This project has been very successful and has demonstrated that the metal oxide decorated graphenes can be rapidly scaled to multi-kilogrammanufacture. The project will conclude in the next few months when further results will be published.

Professor Robert Dryfe adds “The collaboration with First Graphene has been excellent: both in terms of their know-how on scale-up of production, and their commercial insight".

Tags:  Andy Goodwin  First Graphene Ltd  Graphene  Ian Kinloch  Robert Dryfe  Supercapacitors  University of Manchester 

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First Graphene to develop graphene-based energy storage materials for supercapacitors

Posted By Graphene Council, Tuesday, September 24, 2019
First Graphene has signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with the University of Manchester to develop graphene-hybrid materials for use in supercapacitors. The licencing agreement is for patented technology for the manufacture of metal oxide decorated graphene materials, using a proprietary electrochemical process.

The graphene-hybrid materials will have the potential to create a new generation of supercapacitors, for use in applications ranging from electric vehicles to elevators and cranes. Supercapacitors offer high power-density energy storage, with the possibility of multiple charge/discharge cycles and short charging times. The market for supercapacitor devices is forecast to grow at 20% per year to approximately USD 2.1 billion by 2022. Growth may, however, be limited by the availability of suitable
materials.

Supercapacitors typically use microporous carbon nanomaterials, which have a gravimetric capacitance between 50 and 150 Farads/g. Research carried out by the University of Manchester shows that high capacitance materials incorporating graphene are capable of reaching up to 500 Farads/g. This will significantly increase the operational performance of supercapacitors in a wide range of applications, as well as increasing the available supply of materials.

Published research1 by Prof. Robert Dryfe and Prof. Ian Kinloch of The University of Manchester reveals how high capacity, microporous materials can be manufactured by the electrochemical processing of graphite raw materials. These use transition metal ions to create metal oxide decorated graphene materials, which have an extremely high gravimetric capacitance, to 500 Farads/g.

Prof. Dryfe has secured funding from the UK EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Council) for further optimisation of metal oxide/graphene materials. Following successful completion of this study, FGR is planning to build a pilot-scale production unit at its laboratories within the Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre (GEIC). It is anticipated that this will be the first step in volume production in the UK, to enable the introduction of these materials to supercapacitor device manufacturers.

Andy Goodwin, Chief Technology Officer of First Graphene Ltd says: “This investment is a direct result of our presence at the Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre. It emphasises the importance of effective external relationships with university research partners. The programme is also aligned with the UK government’s industrial strategy grand challenges and we’ll be pursuing further support for the development of our business within the UK.”

James Baker, Chief Executive of Graphene@Manchester, added: “We are really pleased with this further development of our partnership with First Graphene. The University’s Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre is playing a key role in supporting the acceleration of graphene products and applications through the development of a critical supply chain of material supply and in the development of applications for industry. This latest announcement marks a significant step in our Graphene City developments, which looks to create a unique innovation ecosystem here in the Manchester city-region, the home of graphene.”

Tags:  Andy Goodwin  Energy Storage  First Graphene  Graphene  Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre  Ian Kinloch  James Baker  nanomaterials  Robert Dryfe  supercapacitors  University of Manchester 

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