Low-cost Supercapacitor | 15 Jul 2020

Why in News

Recently, scientists at the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) have developed a simple, low-cost, environment-friendly, and sustainable supercapacitor device.

  • ARCI is an autonomous organization of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.


  • Supercapacitor is a next-generation energy storage device. They are also known as ultracapacitors. ‚Äč
  • It has significant advantages such as high power density, long durability, and ultrafast charging characteristics as compared to conventional capacitors and Lithium-Ion batteries (LIB).
  • Main components of supercapacitors include electrode, electrolyte, separator, and the current collector.
  • The electrode and electrolyte are the pivotal components, which directly determine the electrochemical behaviour of the supercapacitors.
    • The manufacturing cost of electrode materials, as well as electrolytes account for a major portion of the supercapacitor manufacturing cost.
    • An electrode is a solid electric conductor that is used to take an electric current to or from a source of power.
    • An electrolyte is a substance that produces an electrically conducting solution when dissolved in a polar solvent, such as water.

Key Points

  • Supercapacitor Device:
    • The supercapacitor is developed from industrial waste cotton based electrode & natural seawater electrolyte.
    • Industrial waste cotton was converted into highly porous carbon fibers by activation process and then utilised to make high-performance supercapacitor electrodes.
    • Natural seawater was explored as an environment-friendly, cost-effective and alternative aqueous electrolyte.
  • Benefit:
    • This supercapacitor showed great potential for practical implementation.
    • It exhibited maximum capacitance, good durability and high efficiency.
      • Capacitance is the ability of a system to store an electric charge.
      • Efficiency denotes the charge transfer in a system facilitating an electrochemical reaction.
    • When integrated with a solar cell, the supercapacitor will become a low cost, eco-friendly, efficient and self-powering device.
      • It has a long life cycle and can be used as maintenance-free power supply.
      • It can also overcome the drawbacks of the intermittent nature of the solar irradiation.
  • Conclusion:
    • The development is an excellent example of creative science for the sustainable, green processes embedding principles of waste-to-wealth.

Source: PIB