Could Ultracapacitors Realize Their Full Potential…With Laxatives?

Could Ultracapacitors Realize Their Full Potential…With Laxatives?

Supercapacitors present an amazing opportunity to move away from batteries and into a world where almost instant charging is the norm. But their drawbacks mean we can’t use them widely…yet. Experiments with a new class of materials that are related to soap and laxatives (yes, laxatives) could bring us one step closer to a world with no more pesky chemical batteries. So here’s the deal with batteries. Many batteries we’re familiar with are chemical, which means they use some kind of charged chemical, like lithium, to store energy. Lithium ion batteries are in everything from your phone and your laptop to electric cars, but they’ve got some downsides. You’ve gotta wait ages for them to charge. They start degrading basically as soon as they leave the factory, and they’re very expensive to replace because they’re super resource intensive— which also means they’re really not great for the environment. They also contain highly flammable electrolytes, meaning they pose a safety risk. I’m sure we all remember the exploding hoverboards of several years back. These are issues for consumer electronics, yes, but also means there are some serious restrictions for using these kinds of batteries in say, our energy grid. Enter an excellent alternative: supercapacitors. And just to be clear—supercapacitors are the same concept as capacitors, which we use in many products today, just with some materials added to help them hold more charge. Instead of chemical energy like batteries, capacitors store energy in the form of static electricity: you know, the same kind that shocks you when you touch someone after shuffling across the carpet in your socks. Supercapacitors consist of two electrode plates soaked in a liquid electrolyte, separated by an insulator. Apply a voltage, and voilá, opposite electric charges build up on the plates, creating an electric double-layer, allowing them to store more energy than regular capacitors. So a supercapacitor’s energy is stored in its electric field, whereas a battery’s is stored in its chemical makeup. There’s a key thing to understand here when we talk about the difference between batteries and supercapacitors: energy density vs. power density. Energy density is the amount of energy that can be stored in a given mass, whereas power density is how fast that energy can be discharged. So supercapacitors have a much higher power density than batteries, meaning they can pack a real punch of energy real fast when you need them to. But they also have a much lower energy density than chemical batteries, meaning they can store less energy overall. But they also recharge super fast: supercapacitors can be charged in seconds or minutes, rather than the hours it can take to charge a battery as big as the one in your electric car. These trade-offs exist because supercapacitors can only store as much energy as they can hold at the interface of their electrodes and their electrolyte. Picture it like this: if a battery is a sponge, full of energy, a supercapacitor is only able to use the surface of its sponge. Sure, you can get the water out faster…but it holds less water. This has been the main thing keeping supercapacitors from becoming our energy storage of choice— they just don’t hold enough energy to reasonably power the stuff we use every day. But new materials could change that. The researchers are calling them SAILs, short for surface-active ionic liquids, and you may be surprised to hear that their molecular components are also found in something we use everyday…soap. Or more accurately, detergents. Like soap and even laxatives, this new class of electrolytes contain molecules that are dipolar, meaning that their heads and tails have opposite charges. This means that unlike conventional electrolyte materials, these ionic liquids can self assemble into a bi-layer structure, a little bit like a sandwich. And their charge and the way they assemble is the crucial part. The dense layers of charged ions at the surface of the electrode allow them to store much more energy… maybe as much as a lithium ion battery. But there is a lot more work to be done. These supercapacitors still require certain temperatures and voltages to achieve their impressive leap in energy storage. The researchers also emphasize the need to keep developing this technology, and entire systems that incorporate SAILs to make supercapacitors practical on a larger scale. But this work is hugely exciting and could take us one step closer to a new era of almost instantly rechargeable, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly energy storage… hopefully changing the way we charge forever. For more info on supercapacitor technology, check out this video here, and subscribe to Seeker to make sure you stay up to speed with all your technological breakthroughs. If there’s another one you want to see us cover, leave it in the comments down below. As always, thanks so much for watching—and we’ll see you next time.

100 thoughts on “Could Ultracapacitors Realize Their Full Potential…With Laxatives?

  1. It would be wonderful if super capacitors can get close to lithium ion batteries on energy density and cost per energy unit. Unfortunately, there are lots of research projects that spread lies about their potential just to get the next round of funding. You need to be very skeptical when it comes to those asserting amazing results from research into capacitors replacing batteries for applications such as powering cars. Words are easy. Show me a prototype that can survive proper scientific scrutiny incl. actual measurements.

  2. Thanks for the excellent and enthusiastic presentation. Truly professional staff, which enabled me to understand about batteries I didn't know much about.
    Yet I see 83 thumbs down, that is the part that throws me off, for I cannot imagine people casting dislikes for the excellent video, very good audio, and a very gracious presenter. Please I would like to hear from some of the dissenter the motives of their dislike, for it makes me feel as if I missed something crucial here.

  3. To the regular everyday person out there: Staggering numbers of the problems facing the HUMAN RACE could be resolved with better batteries. Like going from steam power to gasoline problem solving.

  4. The issue of ultracapacitors and capacitors in general is they release energy instantly unlike batteries release energy slowly. This makes it challenging to make high capacity ultracapacitors. Think of it as 2 buckets where a ultracapacitor is just a bucket filled with water and regular batteries as a bucket of water with a sponge inside. The sponge prevents the water from coming of the bucket instantly.

  5. A company callad Killowatt Labs say they have supercap technology NOW! Same formfactor and energy density as lithium ion and can discharge slowly like a battery. They are installing demonstration tech as we speak and say they are going to build a demonstration car.

  6. "start degrading basically as soon as they leave the factory" well technically true but if stored at a good voltage will store without capacity loss for a long time

  7. You cannot charge faster than your charging current so (almost) instantly rechargeable would only apply to small capacitors in practical application.

  8. some of this is untrue. tesla battery packs have 95%+ capacity after 7 years of use. sure they dont have the same discharge / charge cycle life as a super capacitor but they are hardly dead after 2 years. sure the packs are flammable but guess what happens when you puncture an super capacitor that's got 200kwh of charge? you'll get a big kaboom all the same. super capacitors are great technology and will alleviate reliance on lithium but lithium is here to stay for the next 10-15 years at least. they have a long way to go before they match the 400 mile range / 300wh/kg of a tesla pack which they need to match in order to be competitive. the best maxwell super capacitor cells are 6 wh/kg. so they have a loooong way to go.

  9. We Argentineans really need to have true contact with the world, specially culturally with USA and Europe, not only for the economy but for a true balance in the sociologicaly mental health

  10. That mine you showed on second 50 ish is not for extracting lithium, extraction of lithium is mostly done in super desertic areas with huge salt water pools, not saying this non pollutant, bit this is misleading.

  11. Is it just me or did she get 10x hotter when she started speaking??? Forget the ratchet females, this one would be able to hold a very intellectual conversation. I try talking and explaining things to some women and I just give up lol. Dont get me wrong some men are the same lol. Very useful information by the way, thank you!

  12. The trick is to use both super capacitors and batteries together…

    Use the fast discharge of the SC for something like 'launch mode" on a Tesla, when car is up to speed the batts take over…SC"s quickly recharge before the next traffic light. Repeat.

  13. Super-capacitors eh? I shall not consider this as an energy storage form, till the thunderous roar of the mighty Bussard Ramjet, cleaves the night sky. Ok…I might be waiting a while..sigh!

  14. My entire life I’ve heard about these awesome technologies that are just around the corner and somehow they never come to fruition… I bet this is how my parents felt about the flying car…

  15. Forget battery or super capacitor, can I please have a smartphone powered by gasoline so that I don’t ever have to deal with charging?

  16. They assemble like a sandwich not like the bilayer of any human cell? come on 🙁 our nerves function like a capacitor …… 🙁 so much disapointment here 🙁

  17. how long do you think it will take before these technologies become mainstream and used in Electric Cars?
    I believe most of the new EVs are using Supercaps already for regenerative braking and instant acceleration.

  18. As a doctor I'm excited.:-
    Patient: I'm having constipation.
    Me: Then go shove a car battery up ur ass.
    Patient: (°o°)

  19. Basically she has the tech right, but.. there it is.. (there is always a but)
    Charging such amounts of energy in shorter periods of time will increase the currents and voltage enormously..
    If and only if they get this outside of the theory, laboratory and into cheap devices..

  20. Very cool! I hope we can make this tech work on an industrial scale. It would be a game-changer and truly move us away from things like internal combustion engines

  21. Actually, you have chemical batteries that can charge MUCH faster than in hours. They can charge in 30 to 40 minutes. (Teslas). Try not to give absolute worst case scenarios.

  22. Women….a kind of women like Maren, but with an open philosophy like this

  23. i'm sure Seeker and Nasa can fully develop this technology, i'm an writing a lot to you because i see talent out here, i have Brainstorms imagination that this could be posible with the best libraries, even better without coding just a graphical interface, get in touch with DIVI Elegant Themes they are starting to automate Javascript with React.js to leave place just for Dreams, true imagination with feeling, a graphical interface just to design interactively in 3D Dimensions, and i write a lot because i see the talent en Seeker women Narrator to open the laxatives of the heart to start doing usefull things in life and be happy, also have a lot of money

  24. Seeker should go with full documentries, i love the quality of this graphics and visual effects, and the narration, it could be incredible the many perspectives and how the WebGl could bring deep knowledge, it is proved that videogames are a incredible business, but if you can make them even more fun and mostly sexy with the most atractive women in the world with usefull scientific content not just to play or much more important to test, i can see it, this can finance space exploration, Seeker should transform with Nasa the WebGl into a fully profesional platform, eduactional videogames that can finance all science of the good will

  25. It is true true love atraction, not only Maren not only for the economy, the whole thing, not kidding i think that Seeker has de vision it is only a question to go deeply on it, see this incredible Tesla Video, imagine this with the WebGl and interactive Beautiful mostly sexy Narration, with this technology Seeker can transform into a complete educational online platform for education

  26. is there a special circuit used to regulate current flow rate? i thought capacitors can only deliver current at an exponentially decreasing rate

  27. What am wondering about is….what would Airplanes run on once fossil fuel is scarce. Everybody is working on electric cars..🙄🙄

  28. "Blah, blah, blah, blah!" All these revolutionary battery promises for the last 20 years are just bull-crap. Cut the horse-crap, stop talking about, and just get something done. Geez.

  29. In the add on YouTube there was a comment that said “CLICKBAIT”. I came into the video to comment on it, saying that I didn’t even watch the video and that he was right. Coming into the video, pausing it and trying to find a 10 times liked comment, I cannot find the comment that is visible in the “ad”. I scrolled up and down like crazy. Nothing. Seems filtered. What is this sh**??

  30. * Ok but isn't it possible to draw the stored energy from the super capacitors' storage fields to an extraregulated device through electromagnetism?

  31. Could there be any semi conductor material that can wrap around inside the super capacity to offer a very slow discharge rate to power a device for a long time? Like a resistor to a capacitor to slow down the discharge?

  32. Capacitors will shock you if you touch them.
    Touch on of those in cameras used for the flash and you'll get quite a shock, I wouldn't want something like that in my devices..

  33. The issue with near instant charging is the grid. If you somehow had a magical supercapacitor in your car able to hold, say, 30 kWh of usable energy and wanted to charge it within 5 minutes, you would need to pull 3.6 MW out of your charger for those 5 minutes (and that's assuming perfect efficiency). Out of a 400V three phase power connection, that would be about 5200 Amps! Even at 20 kV we're talking over 100 A! The power connection you need to supply a few such charging ports is pretty insane. Never mind the horrendous power spikes at the power plants and the sheer size of the power electronics for your charging port. And that's for a relatively slow charging, compared to many such projections for supercapacitors

  34. The faster charging the higher current. It means more heat on the cable resistance. It increases with power of 2 with increasing current. So that may be a problem.

  35. This price was written really badly. Especially the bit where they explain how a normal capacitor works before saying/implying that this is how super capacitors hold more charge.

  36. Lots of half knowledge, speculation and (not always reliable) information online! In other words click-bait 😉

  37. Maren ur presentation shud start with greetings or some hi pitch or volume note by raising ur voice then slowly lower so audience wud ezly listen

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