Polymer-Nanocarbon Composites for Energy Storage Applications

Market Overview:

This composite material decreases energy storage costs compared to current commercially available technologies. The ability to store intermittent energy from sources such as wind and solar power is a major limitation for the commercial deployment of renewable energies in the consumer market. Currently used materials are not suitable for large-format energy storage due to either cost or safety concerns. However, large-scale energy storage is a rapidly growing market; the United States market saw a nine-fold increase between Q1 2016 and Q1 2017 in terms of deployed megawatt-hours of energy storage, and predicted to be a market size of $3.2 billion in the U.S. and $19 billion globally by 2022. Clemson University researchers have developed a material that overcomes current challenges in order to decrease energy storage costs for a variety of applications.

Application                                                                              Stage of Development

Energy Storage - Stationary and Transportation                      Validated Prototype



•   Possesses high performance vs. weight ratio, making it more efficient than currently available methods

•   Polymeric materials used are relatively inexpensive, decreasing the cost of storing energy and facilitating



Technical Summary

This invention integrates redox polymers such as lignin with carbon nanomaterials in a manner that exploits the high-energy capacity of non-conductive, but redox-active polymers. These polymers are incorporated either during electrode synthesis or through adsorption. The carbon nanomaterial provides conductivity and surface area, and the polymer enhances energy storage capability. Free-standing electrodes were developed using nanotubes and other forms of carbon nanomaterials to produce mechanically and chemically robust electrodes. Importantly, the polymeric materials used in this technology are abundant and renewable, making the fabrication process cost-effective. Based on the electrode performance, it is expected that the cost per energy storage unit can be reduced to $0.01-0.02/Whr ($0.17/Whr for standard lead-acid batteries). This composite also demonstrates a high-performance-to-weight ratio of 1500 W/kg.


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Inventors:                        Dr. Mark Roberts, Dr. Ramakrishna Podila, & Dr. Apparao Rao

Patent Type:                    Utility

Serial Number:               14/331,264

CURF Ref No:                2013-025


Patent Information:
Advanced Materials
For Information, Contact:
Andy Bluvas
Technology Commercialization Officer
Clemson University Research Foundation
Mark Roberts
Apparao Rao
Ramakrishna Podila
Robert Emmett
Electronics Parts/Manufacturing
Energy - Green Technology
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