Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Used cigarette butts offer energy storage solution

Date:
August 5, 2014
Source:
Institute of Physics
Summary:
A group of scientists have converted used-cigarette butts into a high-performing material that could be integrated into computers, handheld devices, electrical vehicles and wind turbines to store energy.

A group of scientists from South Korea have converted used-cigarette butts into a high-performing material that could be integrated into computers, handheld devices, electrical vehicles and wind turbines to store energy.

Related Articles


Presenting their findings today, 5 August 2014, in IOP Publishing's journal Nanotechnology, the researchers have demonstrated the material's superior performance compared to commercially available carbon, graphene and carbon nanotubes.

It is hoped the material can be used to coat the electrodes of supercapacitors -- electrochemical components that can store extremely large amounts of electrical energy -- whilst also offering a solution to the growing environmental problem caused by used-cigarette filters.

It is estimated that as many as 5.6 trillion used-cigarettes, or 766,571 metric tons, are deposited into the environment worldwide every year.

Co-author of the study Professor Jongheop Yi, from Seoul National University, said: "Our study has shown that used-cigarette filters can be transformed into a high-performing carbon-based material using a simple one step process, which simultaneously offers a green solution to meeting the energy demands of society.

"Numerous countries are developing strict regulations to avoid the trillions of toxic and non-biodegradable used-cigarette filters that are disposed of into the environment each year -- our method is just one way of achieving this."

Carbon is the most popular material that supercapacitors are composed of, due to its low cost, high surface area, high electrical conductivity and long term stability.

Scientists around the world are currently working towards improving the characteristics of supercapacitors -- such as energy density, power density and cycle stability -- whilst also trying to reduce production costs.

In their study, the researchers demonstrated that the cellulose acetate fibres that cigarette filters are mostly composed of could be transformed into a carbon-based material using a simple, one-step burning technique called pyrolysis.

As a result of this burning process, the resulting carbon-based material contained a number of tiny pores, increasing its performance as a supercapacitive material.

"A high-performing supercapacitor material should have a large surface area, which can be achieved by incorporating a large number of small pores into the material," continued Professor Yi.

"A combination of different pore sizes ensures that the material has high power densities, which is an essential property in a supercapacitor for the fast charging and discharging."

Once fabricated, the carbon-based material was attached to an electrode and tested in a three-electrode system to see how well the material could adsorb electrolyte ions (charge) and then release electrolyte ions (discharge).

The material stored a higher amount of electrical energy than commercially available carbon and also had a higher amount of storage compared to graphene and carbon nanotubes, as reported in previous studies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Minzae Lee, Gil-Pyo Kim, Hyeon Don Song, Soomin Park, Jongheop Yi. Preparation of energy storage material derived from a used cigarette filter for a supercapacitor electrode. Nanotechnology, 2014; 25 (34): 345601 DOI: 10.1088/0957-4484/25/34/345601

Cite This Page:

Institute of Physics. "Used cigarette butts offer energy storage solution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140805091121.htm>.
Institute of Physics. (2014, August 5). Used cigarette butts offer energy storage solution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140805091121.htm
Institute of Physics. "Used cigarette butts offer energy storage solution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140805091121.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins