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Materials Research Institute



Versatility of storage mechanisms in supercapacitors by Professor Francois Beguin, Power Sources Group, Poznan University of Technology

Image: Francois Beguin
Francois Beguin

Date: 11 November 2015   Time: 15:00 - 16:30

The quick increase in electric energy consumption requires efficient energy storage (ES) to ensure electric grid quality and to reduce greenhouse gases emissions. Electrochemical devices for ES are attractive due to their high efficiency, low pollution, reliability, etc. Supercapacitors (SCs) are well-suited for several ES applications: stop/start systems, recovering of braking energy, security systems in aircrafts, regulation of electricity production from renewables, etc.
Our activity is focused on the development of different SC designs: electrical double-layer (EDL), pseudocapacitive and hybrid devices. Desolvation of ions in EDL capacitors is now a fact which is confirmed by several experimental approaches. Exceptionally high cell potentials for capacitors in neutral aqueous electrolytes of up to 1.6 V have been demonstrated with good cycle life. Different strategies for increasing the capacitance of carbon electrodes have been implemented: grafting of carbon surface with quinone-type groups or introducing redox species in the electrolyte (e.g., molybdate and iodide). Studies on protic electrolytes have given beneficial insight into the hydrogen storage processes. Questions have been raised if ionic liquids are the key electrolytes for high performance SCs. Promising results have been obtained in hybrid Li-ion devices with a composite positive electrode of activated carbon and lithium metal oxide, acting as capacitive electrode and reservoir of Li ions. All these research directions will be critically discussed during the presentation.

François Béguin was Professor and leader of the Energy&Environment Group in Orléans University (France) till 2011, and he is now Professor in Poznan University of Technology (Poland), where he has been awarded the WELCOME stipend from the Foundation for Polish Science.
His research activities are devoted to chemical and electrochemical applications of carbon materials, with a special attention to the development of nano-carbons with controlled porosity and surface functionality for applications to energy conversion/storage and environment protection. The main topics investigated in his research group are lithium batteries, supercapacitors, electrochemical hydrogen storage, reversible electrosorption of pollutants. He owns several patents related with the synthesis of nano-structured carbon materials (nanotubes, carbons from biomass, …) and their use for electrochemical systems. He published over 270 publications in high rank international journals and his works are cited in 13000 papers. His Hirsch index is H = 54.
He was also involved in several books dealing with carbon materials and energy storage. Recently, he edited the book “Supercapacitors - Materials, Systems and Applications. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Carbon Conferences and he launched the international conferences on Carbon for Energy Storage and Environment Protection (CESEP). He is member of the editorial board of the journal Carbon, and associate editor of Energy Storage Materials.
In the French Agency for Research (ANR), he was Director of national programs on Energy Storage and Hydrogen and Fuel Cells till 2012.

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Contact:  Magda Titirici
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