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SUPERLION: Development of high performance supercapacitors by using novel ionic liquid-based electrolytes

Research project corresponding to the call 2012 and reference: ENE2012-31516, within of the Subprogram of fundamental not-oriented research of the National Plan of Scientific Research, Development and Technological Innovation 2008-2011.

Supercapacitors (SCs), due to their capability to deliver high specific power during a few seconds or more, are presently considered as the electrical energy storage devices of choice for smoothing the strong and short-time power solicitations required in transportation and domestic applications powered by fuel cells or batteries, as well as for energy storage substations for voltage compensation in distributed networks. SCs present on the market make use of electrolyte solutions containing either aqueous solutions or an organic solvent, which permits relatively higher operating voltages (about 2.5 V vs. 1 V for aqueous). The main limitations of those electrolytes are, in the case of aqueous media, the low operating voltage and consequently the low energy of the SCs, and in the case of organic electrolytes is that they often do not fulfill the requirements of environmental compatibility and safety for vapor generation, flammability and toxicity.

The interest in ionic liquid (ILs) based electrolytes for electrochemical energy storage and/or conversion systems is growing worldwide.

This project aims the following three key objectives: (i) development of a green and safe electrolyte chemistry based on ionic liquids for SCs ii) Investigation of the peculiar properties and specific interaction of these electrolytes with advanced commercial and self-prepared electrodes with the goal of understanding and improving the electrode and electrolyte properties and thus their interactions iii) construction of supercapacitors (SCs) with outstanding performance by using optimized high capacitance electrodes in combination with IL-based electrolytes.

Partners: IMDEA Energy Institute (Coordinator); Repsol-YPF; Solvionic 
Funding Institution/Program: Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness/ Subprogram of fundamental not-oriented research 
Period: January 2013-December 2015
Principal researcher: Rebeca Marcilla

Ministerio Economía y Competitividad