The Global Market for Graphene in Batteries and Supercapacitors
With global energy demands ever increasing, allied to efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuel and eliminate air pollutions, it is now essential to provide efficient, cost-effective, and environmental friendly energy storage devices. The growing market for smart grit networks, electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) is also driving the market for improving the energy density of rechargeable batteries.
Rechargeable battery technologies (such as Li-ion, Li-S, Na-ion, Li-O2 batteries) and supercapacitors are among the most promising power storage and supply systems in terms of their wide spread applicability, and tremendous potential owing to their high energy and power densities. LIBs are currently the dominant mobile power sources for portable electronic devices used in cell phones and laptops.
Although great advances have been made, each type of battery still suffers from problems that seriously hinder the practical applications for example in commercial EVs and PHEVs. The performance of these devices is inherently tied to the properties of materials used to build them.
With renewable energy sources at peak interest in the scientific research community, technologies for storing high amounts of electric charge and energy are much sought after. Electric vehicles, and enabling lithium-battery (LIB) technology, will become a progressively larger market-with estimates of CAGR of over 20% through to 2025.
Due to intrinsic properties such as high surface area and high conductivity, graphene and 2D materials nanocomposite hybrids are regarded as excellent candidates to improve the performance of electrode materials in energy storage/conversion devices (e.g., Li ion batteries, supercapacitors, fuel cells, and solar cells).
Graphene has unique properties for application in batteries and supercapacitors, including high speciﬁc surface area (2630 m2/g), good chemical stability and excellent electrical conductivity. These properties make graphene to be an excellent candidate as a catalyst support for energy conversion and storage applications. It is the most widely studied advanced material for energy storage. Graphene nanoplatelets can increase the effectiveness of lithium-ion batteries when used to formulate electrodes, yielding vastly shorter recharge times.
Applications under commercial development include ultra-small capacitors, flexible and stretchable energy-storage devices, transparent batteries, and high- capacity and fast-charging devices.
A number of companies are developing energy storage applications for graphene, where it could potentially replace the graphite electrodes found in batteries, supercapacitors and fuel cells. Most activity at present is utilizing graphene as a conductive additive for lithium-ion batteries (LIB) and supercapacitors.