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  • Team uses forest waste to develop cheaper, greener supercapacitors

    Researchers Lei Zhang, left, and Xinying Wang, center, with Junhua Jiang, a senior research engineer at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, are developing high-performance supercapacitors using wood biochar.

    Researchers Lei Zhang, left, and Xinying Wang, center, with Junhua Jiang, a senior research engineer at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, are developing high-performance supercapacitors using wood biochar.

    Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      Researchers Lei Zhang, left, and Xinying Wang, center, with Junhua Jiang, a senior research engineer at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, are developing high-performance supercapacitors using wood biochar.

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      Any kind of wood can be made into biochar by heating in a low-oxygen chamber. Some types of wood work better than others. Pictured, left to right, are white birch, white pine and red cedar.

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      This corncob-biochar supercapacitor generates enough energy to power an LED bulb. Wood biochar is easier to use in large-scale applications and has more energy potential.

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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  • To reach Junhua Jiang, email junhua@illinois.edu. The paper, “Highly Ordered Macroporous Woody Biochar With Ultra-High Carbon Content as Supercapacitor Electrodes,” is available online or from the U. of I. News Bureau.