Scientists transform Chicken Fat into Energy Storage Devices

Repurposing Chicken Fat into Green Energy

As the world shifts towards Greener, more sustainable energy, the demand for efficient energy storage solutions and power reserves have surged. However, traditional materials used in energy storage devices can be costly and environmentally harmful. To address these challenges, researchers have turned their attention to unconventional sources, such as waste materials, to develop alternative energy storage technologies.

In a research and study published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, scientists have unveiled a method for repurposing chicken fat into carbon-based electrodes for supercapacitors, which are essential for storing energy and powering devices like LEDs.

Chicken Fat in Greener Energy Calculation

In 2023, global renewable energy capacity witnessed an unprecedented nearly 50 percent rise compared to the previous year, as reported by the International Energy Agency. However, the surplus energy generated from renewable sources needs to be stored efficiently for later use. For instance, in regions like California, sunny days often lead to an oversupply of energy from solar panels, resulting in negative energy prices.

Traditionally, carbon materials like graphene have been favored for their excellent charge transportation properties. However, their production is costly and contributes to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Seeking an alternative carbon source, researchers Mohan Reddy Pallavolu, Jae Hak Jung, Sang Woo Joo, and their team set out to develop a cost-effective method for converting waste chicken fat into electrically conductive nanostructures suitable for supercapacitors. They employed a simple yet innovative approach, using a gas flame gun to extract fat from chicken and burning the oil to collect soot, which contained carbon-based nanostructures.

Examination under electron microscopy revealed that the soot comprised uniform spherical lattices of concentric graphite rings, resembling layers of onions. To enhance the electrical properties of the carbon nanoparticles, the researchers soaked them in a solution of thiourea.

When assembled into the negative electrode of an asymmetric supercapacitor, the carbon nanoparticles derived from chicken fat exhibited promising capacitance, durability, and high energy and power density. Moreover, treating the nanoparticles with thiourea further improved these properties.

The researchers demonstrated the practical application of the new supercapacitor by charging it and connecting two units to power red, green, and blue LEDs in real-time. These results underscore the potential benefits of utilizing food waste, such as chicken fat, as a sustainable carbon source in the pursuit of greener energy solutions.