Aug, 2021 - By WMR
A new experimental project was conducted to develop the energy storage material for electric vehicles from the waste material produced by tamarind shells.
In current scenario, many electric cars make a use of supercapacitors along with batteries to have sufficient source of power while accelerating. A new experimental project was carried out to develop a key component for these supercapacitors from waste of tamarind shells. An international team of scientists observed that tamarind shells act as the source material for carbon nanosheets, which are energy storage material in supercapacitors. The project was conducted by researchers from Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, along with Alagappa University in India and the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.
The scientists intended to generate energy from waste of tamarind shells obtained from the food industry as raw material. Their first step was to wash these tamarind shells thoroughly and then dry it for about six hours at a temperature of 100 ºC/212 ºF. The next step was to convert these washed and dried shells into the powdered form and further bake them in a furnace at 700 to 900 ºC, in the absence of oxygen, for 150 minutes. The procedure converted the initial powder into ultra-thin layers of carbon known as carbon nanosheets. These carbon nanosheets are further used in supercapacitors in electric vehicles for extra storage of energy.
Researchers illustrated that the tamarind shells possess high value for energy generation due to their high carbon contents and their structural porosity. Good porosity increases the surface area of the carbon in the nanosheets that is essential for storing more electricity. The tamarind carbon nanosheets also exhibited thermal stability and good electrical conductivity. Moreover, it was also noted that the production process of carbon nanosheets requires less energy as compared to the traditional process of production using hemp fibers. However, researchers aim to reduce the energy requirements of their technique to make it more eco-friendly and also scale up the production of the carbon nanosheets at commercial-level in future.