A team of researchers at the Department of Energy’s in the U.S. in Oak Ridge National Laboratory has recently discovered a way to create functional materials from the impure waste sugar that has been produced in the processes of bio-refining. The results of the research will be published in Scientific Reports named a Nature research journal.
Making use of the hydrothermal carbonization, a synthesis technique that converts the biomass into the carbon under the high pressure and temperature conditions, in which the team transformed the waste sugar into the spherical carbon materials. These carbon spheres that will be used to form enhanced supercapaitors, which are the energy storage devices that are expected to help the power technologies, such as hybrid vehicles, smartphone, and security alarm systems.
A senior researcher in ORNL’s Materials Science and Technology Division, Amit Naskar stated that the significant finding is that they would find a way so as to take the sugar from plants and other organic matter and further use it to make different division. In addition to this, he stated that knowing the physics behind how all these structures form can help us in improving the components of energy storage.
After the modification the synthesis process, the team of researchers have created two varieties of the novel carbon spheres. The combination of sugar and water under the pressure that has resulted in solid spheres, whereas the replacement of water with an emulsion substance has typically produced hollow spheres instead. The research team has also discovered that altering of the duration of the synthesis has directly affected the shape and size of the spheres.