With the high amount of coffee drinkers, that means a lot of excess coffee grounds from brewed coffee is getting thrown out. This sparked a Pittsburg State University exchange student, Jonghyun Choi, to see how he could turn it into eco-friendly batteries and super capacitors.
"Carbon is used as a good electrode and coffee has a lot of carbon material, so we thought why don’t we use waste coffee because there are so many wasted coffee.”
Through a two-step chemical activation process the coffee powder is turned into a nitrogen-doped activated carbon, which is then turned into a small battery. It took 6 months to create.
"We have to pursue more eco-friendly battery" added Choi.
Choi says his ultimate goal is to create a long-lasting, larger and more eco-friendly batteries that can be used for automobiles.
"Because of the automobile car there is a lot of air pollution, so we made the super capacitor so its eco-friendly, so I hope many companies will use it."
Overseeing Choi’s research at the Kansas Polymer Research Center is Associate Professor Ram Gupta, who says their experimental process has been successful so far.
"We have already done the preliminary work, and we know that it is working, it is working in a small cell battery. Now we must see if it can work with the larger batteries or not, so I think in 1 or 2 years we can make a bigger battery.”
The small coin cells that have been created have showed power densities of 12.8 and 6.64 kW/kg. When used in a device, they maintained stable performance, even after being used 10,000 times.
Gupta says they focused on utilizing bio waste like the coffee powder to better the environment. He adds that the batteries are low cost, and more green through the use of non-harsh chemicals.
"This research we wanted to do so that we can do the waste management as well as something that’s very useful for the community"
For Choi, seeing how far his research has come has him even more motivated to bring his end goal to fruition.
"I think it’s really it makes me feel happy and want to study more.”
Choi completed his Bachelor’s degree at Pittsburg State and came back to pursue his Masters with this research.
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- Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- Copyright 2019 by KOAMNewsNow KOAM. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.