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Used-cigarette butts can store energy !


Seoul, Aug 6 :

Imagine a world where used-cigarette butts can store energy for your smartphones, tablets and even wind turbines, thus offering a green solution to meet the growing energy storage demands. Not too far.

cigarette buttsA group of scientists from South Korea have converted used-cigarette filters into a high-performing material that could be integrated into computers, handheld devices, electrical vehicles and wind turbines to store energy.

β€œThe cellulose acetate fibres that cigarette filters are mostly composed of could be transformed into a carbon-based material using a simple, one-step burning technique called pyrolysis,” explained professor Jongheop Yi from Seoul National University.

As a result of this burning process, the resulting carbon-based material contained a number of tiny pores, increasing its performance as a supercapacitive material.

The material can be used to coat the electrodes of supercapacitors – electrochemical components that can store extremely large amounts of electrical energy.

β€œA high-performing supercapacitor material should have a large surface area, which can be achieved by incorporating a large number of small pores into the material,” professor Yi noted.

A combination of different pore sizes ensures that the material has high power densities, which is an essential property in a supercapacitor for the fast charging and discharging.

The material stored a higher amount of electrical energy than commercially available carbon.

It also had a higher amount of storage compared to graphene and carbon nanotubes, as reported in previous studies.

It is estimated that as many as 5.6 trillion used-cigarettes are deposited into the environment worldwide every year.

The findings appeared in the journal Nanotechnology.