Binod Kumar, Ph.D., Human Rights Center
Challenges posed by climate change in conjunction with increasing global energy demand necessitate improved energy systems in both transportation and power delivery. These systems will require more advanced energy storage than current commercially available options. To enhance energy storage capabilities, supercapacitors were investigated to discover new mechanisms, materials, and fabrication techniques for developing electrochemical devices. In particular, methods for improving electrolyte performance were explored to enhance capacitance and conductivity. The results indicate that increasing charge density in the electrolyte via higher salt concentration or higher ionic charge of the solvated ions significantly increases capacitance. Specifically, a 0.1M solution of magnesium chloride yielded an average capacitance 12 times higher than sodium chloride in the same concentration at 20° C. In addition, electrolyte conductivity can be improved by adding ceramic nanoparticles (~18nm) in the form of titanium dioxide. In particular, titanium dioxide increases the conductivity of a 0.1M solution of magnesium chloride by over 10%.
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Padavick, George, "Improving Electrochemical Devices via Increased Charge Density and Ceramic Nanoparticles" (2017). Honors Theses. 179.