Supercaps to the rescue?

Supercapacitors (or if that’s not hyperbolic enough for you, ultracapacitors) have found a niche providing a lot of power for very short periods of time. They can be used to smooth over voltage dips and sags and boost battery lifetime by taking the strain when electric vehicles such as forklifts and micro-hybrids need a quick jolt of energy, as Ioxus founder Chad Hall pointed out in a recent interview for ThomasNet.

Ruthenium oxide is the material widely used for supercapacitor electrodes and, as explained in a blog for RSC Advances, improvements in the current technology are being investigated worldwide.

Examples given include nano-structured ruthenium oxide in an aqueous hybrid supercapacitor, with a specific energy comparable to modern rechargeable batteries, and nano-tubes with ruthenium oxide producing a ternary electrode material to increase the specific capacitance by 103%, with enhanced rate capability and what the report describes as “excellent electrochemical stability”.

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