Ashay Shah & Ashna Shah
College Freshman, Rice University, class of 2023
Supercapacitors are energy devices with applications in the medical and automobile industries. One problem is their lower energy density compared to batteries. We developed a low-cost, high energy-density supercapacitor with a wide operating temperature window. We created four supercapacitors using Polyacrylonitrile-Polystyrene blends. The supercapacitors exhibited energy densities 15x greater than commercial supercapacitors due to the first-ever formation of electrode channels. Our supercapacitor charged fully in 20 seconds, meaning it could charge cellphones in seconds. Our supercapacitor was 3x cheaper than commercial supercapacitors and remained efficient throughout -50°C - 110°C. The supercapacitor demonstrated 40-49.5% higher fuel economies than vehicles with lithium-ion batteries.