MIT adds new material to supercapacitor for better EVs, maybe

The secret lies in the metal-organic frameworks.

Many years ago, there was a lot of talk about using supercapacitors and ultracapacitors in electric vehicles (oh, remember those days?) Aside from Mazda's i-ELOOP technology, capacitors haven't really become a thing. But like all good technologies, things have kept evolving in labs. MIT, in fact, just announced that it has developed a supercapacitor that does not need any carbon. By eliminating carbon, the supercaps may, "potentially produce more power than existing versions." And yes, they could be deployed in electric vehicles, as well as for things like grid storage.

Instead of carbon, the new supercapacitors use something called, "metal-organic frameworks." Yeah, that's gonna need a quick Wiki look-up. The take-away point is that this material have more surface area than other materials for their size, which means that they have an, "ability to withstand large numbers of charge/discharge cycles. Tests showed they lost less than 10 percent of their performance after 10,000 cycles, which is comparable to existing commercial supercapacitors," according to MIT. Also, these capacitors could be made without the "high temperatures and harsh chemicals" that current supercapacitors need. Of course, one of the problems with the metal-organic supercaps is that they don't conduct electricity all that well. Well, didn't. The team of researchers at MIT and other places is working on that, and says they can tune the materials to make them do what the team needs without going all catawampus.

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