Market of billions of dollars emerging with supercapacitor industry

4th July 2018
Posted By : Alex Lynn
Market of billions of dollars emerging with supercapacitor industry

Supercapacitors will be a large market, it will interest suppliers of a wide range of speciality chemicals and added value feedstock. The new IDTechEx Research report Supercapacitor Materials and Technology Roadmap 2019-2039 appraises these and identifies gaps in the market for device variants and new material capabilities. 

We are rapidly moving beyond familiar carbon electrodes and two favourite electrolytes to a wide variety of organic and inorganic chemistries and new morphologies. Many transition metal oxides and other compounds from liquids to ceramics are now in focus. That includes the newer carbon allotropes, metallorganic frameworks, MXenes, organics and 2D compounds for example.

The report notes that lithium-ion batteries were a cottage industry but as they became a large market, added value materials companies prospered from making key materials that the device makers could not address. It is believed that the same thing will happen with supercapacitors.

The growth of the supercapacitor business is being be accelerated by new priorities. Think structural supercapacitors to ones maximising pseudocapacitance for battery-like functions and others replacing general purpose electrolytic capacitors.

Breakthroughs are appearing with load bearing, smart skin, fabric and paper versions not currently possible with batteries or capacitors. The performance needs are prioritised before appraisal of the best pairing of new active electrode materials and morphologies with advanced electrolytes. Costs need to go down, energy density up, load bearing, formable structural supercapacitors, solid state ‘massless energy’, self-discharge down, longer life and non-flammable materials.

Supercapacitor Materials and Technology Roadmap 2019-2039 is a drill down report from the IDTechEx Research report, Supercapacitor Technologies and Markets 2018-2028. It is part of the IDTechEx series on energy storage and on battery elimination.

The report assists all in the value chain from materials, components and systems suppliers to device and circuit manufacturers, product integrators and facilities managers. It will interest those wishing to understand the pros and cons of the materials and device technologies. The work is based on latest interviews and presentations and the analysis of the PhD IDTechEx experts who travel intensively to obtain progress and assess evolving views.

In the past, supercapacitors have improved cost and parameters by a factor of ten or more and that will happen again, opening up a host of new applications. They are already successful in stop-start microhybrid vehicles for example and IDTechEx argues that it is reasonable to plan for when they replace batteries in the successor, the 48V mild hybrid implying an addressable supercapacitor materials business of billions of dollars yearly for this alone.

The new virtuosity is astounding. Some experimental supercapacitors now work from -110 to 300°C. Power supply versions at 120Hz are demonstrated. On the other hand, load bearing supercapacitors are sometimes achieving lighter weight than the dumb structure they replace. Batteries make things heavier but supercapacitors make them lighter.

Supercapacitor Materials and Technology Roadmap 2019-2039 involves over 60 organisations through the value chain. It has a comprehensive Executive Summary and Conclusions for those with limited time.

The Introduction explains the phenomena being optimised and the different structures emerging of supercapacitors and their variants. Learn why pseudocapacitance is becoming better understood and used as a tool in device tailoring. Both hierarchical traditional electrode morphologies and the newer exohedral options are needed at the different electrodes required for different variants. Indeed, electrode-electrolyte matching is essential with aqueous and ionic electrolytes in focus and solid state considered. See detailed charts comparing parameters achieved.

Chapter three explores electrolytes and four covers the changing priorities in transition metal oxides and metal organic frameworks. Chapter five covers the new approach to 2D materials with graphene very important but only a part of the story, which now embraces MXenes and much more.

Chapter six specifically addresses graphene, carbon nanotubes and carbon aerogels as very important, the aerogels even enabling impressive load bearing components. Chapter seven appraises the important work on structural supercapacitors, load bearing shapes, smart skin, textile and even paper structures. Learn about stretchable and flexible forms and more. The report closes with consideration of how poisons will be replaced.


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