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Coconut Husk-Derived Activated Carbon for Supercapacitors Developed by Kerala Researchers

Coconut husk has been transformed into high-efficiency activated carbon for supercapacitors using microwave technology by researchers from Kerala.

KJ Staff
Coconut Husk-Derived Activated Carbon for Supercapacitors Developed by Kerala Researchers (Representational Image Source: Pexels)
Coconut Husk-Derived Activated Carbon for Supercapacitors Developed by Kerala Researchers (Representational Image Source: Pexels)

Coconut husk- a major agricultural residue in Kerala- can be used to produce high surface-area activated carbon that is suitable for supercapacitor fabrication. The credit for evolving this groundbreaking method goes to a team of researchers from a state-run college in Thiruvananthapuram.

The unique method is a brainchild of researchers under Dr Xavier T S, Department of Physics, Government College for Women. Activated carbon produced in this manner by utilising microwave technology is relatively inexpensive and exhibits exceptional supercapacitor capability.

Supercapacitors have emerged as a vital component in the quest for sustainable energy storage solutions. It is considered as a revolutionary technology with significantly higher capacitance and energy storage capacity than conventional capacitors.

These capacitors have excellent cyclic stability, making them an indispensable element in various energy storage and power management applications, such as electric vehicles and renewable energy systems. Their salient attributes include high power density and rapid charge-discharge capabilities. Coconut husk-derived activated carbon has caught considerable attention in the field of supercapacitors as the search for an ideal supercapacitor electrode material was a significant challenge, necessitating eco-friendly, cost-effective and safe solutions.

A team member claimed that the prototype supercapacitors made of coconut husk-derived activated carbon developed by the team are four times more efficient than existing supercapacitors. The team leveraged the innovative microwave-assisted method designed at the Centralised Common Instrumentation Facility (CCIF) at Government Women's College.

The research was published in Sustainable Resource Management, a journal of the American Chemical Society. The research has paved the way for the potential applications of activated carbon in water purification and sensor development. It is believed to have vast potential in sustainable energy storage and beyond. Efforts are, therefore, on to increase its production for industrial purposes.

The successful development of coconut husk-derived activated carbon by the research team signals a major breakthrough in the field of energy storage. Utilising an advanced microwave pyrolysis reactor, the team produced high-quality carbon in just five minutes, eliminating impurities like ash and generating zero waste.

The achievement highlights the potential of coconut husk-derived activated carbon to revolutionise the energy storage landscape, enabling sustainable and efficient energy solutions. Thus, the team's innovative approach and results have far-reaching implications. CCIF is funded by the Government of Kerala and it is the first of its kind in the state. It is equipped with world-class state-of-the-art facilities.

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