posted on Aug, 8 2014 @ 09:08 PM
Into the electrode portion anyway.
click for larger image
Pop Sci: Scientists Turn Cigarette Butts Into Electrical
The electrical power of the future just might be waiting in ashtrays across the world. Researchers in South Korea discovered that, with a one-step
conversion process, cigarette filters turn into great supercapacitors.
Used cigarette filters are composed largely of cellulose acetate. They are disposable, non-biodegradable, toxic and are a threat to the
environment after usage. However, it has been reported that cellulose acetate can be directly utilized in the production of carbon materials
containing a meso-/micropore structure by only a carbonization process .
Link to paper in Nanotechnology
In essence, the scientists burned the filters in a nitrogen-rich environment, and this made the filter fibers grow pores, further increasing their
surface area. According to their results, published in the journal Nanotechnology, these burnt-in-nitrogen fibers stored more energy than materials
previously used in supercapacitors.
That's some serious materials science hacking.
I'm not sure how this stacks up in terms of cost to other materials being used in current supercapacitors but they're claiming it stores more energy
and clearly the machines to mass produce cheap cigarette filters exist so maybe this is a material we'll see utilized by supercapacitor manufacturers
in the near future.
For those who aren't familiar with supercapacitor/ultracapacitors, they've been on the verge of replacing rechargeable batteries for it seems like
forever but so far they've only managed to find their way into niche applications such as Mazda's regenerative
. One of the biggest reasons for their lack of adoption has been that while supercapacitors charge in a fraction of the time of
batteries and have lifetimes of many many more charge cycles, their energy densities are conversely poor with even the recent supercapacitor
technologies storing less than half the energy of similarly sized conventional batteries.
..and here's a picture of some Maxwell Technologies supercapacitor products from
because they look cool
edit on 2014-8-8 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)