The Future of Supercapacitors as Superbatteries with High Market Demand

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A supercapacitor, also known as an ultracapacitor, is a double-layer capacitor with very high capacitance and power density relative to a conventional capacitor and battery. It is most effective in securing a few seconds to a few minutes interval power gap and can be recharged in an instant.

There are a variety of uses for a supercapacitor. They are used to store electrical energy like a battery. They can completely replace batteries for some applications. They are also useful for fluctuating charge and discharge cycles and backup power systems such as generators. Using supercapacitors as a short-term power source is more economical compared to using a battery.

Due to its many uses, many innovations arose which include the development of novel materials for use as capacitors, methods of fabrication, and the like. Using different natural fibers such as polyester, cotton or silk are becoming well-known these days as supercapacitor. Materials containing high cellulose fibers are reasonable to use to construct a supercapacitor for powering different devices such as wearable devices with smart sensors. They are lightweight, flexible, renewable, and easy to prepare. Materials used in this application have unique properties including improved porous structure, high specific surface area, and excellent electrical conductivity.

As a result of the advancement of technology, supercapacitors grow their market size globally and locally in the Philippines. The international market size was valued at US$ 3.5 billion in 2019 according to a study conducted by Precedence Research. It is projected to surpass around US$ 15.9 billion by 2027. The Asia-Pacific region accounted for the highest share in 2019 due to the increased demand in the automotive business and electronic sector in China and India. The second-largest contributor to the global market in North America. They are expected to exceed the market growth of Asia-Pacific in the following years as demand for supercapacitors rises in the automotive industries.

In the Philippines, the supercapacitor market is forecasted to be at US$11 billion by 2023 based on the article of Lynnette Reese from Mouser Electronics. The rise in the market is expected as electric and hybrid vehicles, wearable devices, and the “Internet of Things” continue to progress.

The major supercapacitor market players all over the world are AVX Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, Cap-XX Limited, Skeleton Technologies, Ioxus Inc., LS Mtron Ltd., Motorola, and KORCHIP Corporation. The materials that they usually use to fabricate supercapacitors are made up of activated carbon, carbide-derived carbon, and carbon aerogel.
For the given analysis, considering the development and innovation in the supercapacitor business will be beneficial for both the inventor and the consumer. The major supercapacitor key players are more into activated carbon rather than the natural fiber material. There are studies available on the web that proves the benefits of using these materials. Consumers will also be engaged in using this technology due to its diversity in application and ease of preparing the supercapacitor device. Advancements in using natural fiber material can go a long way.

A quick search using the World Intellectual Property Office’s (WIPO) Patentscope shows Panasonic Corporation having 1,488 published Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications for supercapacitors technology, Motorola with 146, Cap-XX Limited with 137, KORCHIP Corporation with 24, LS Mtron with 17, AVX Corporation with 10, Ioxus Inc. with 9, and Skeleton Technologies with 2. The number of patents filed worldwide using the PCT is thus expected to increase proportionally to the number of people becoming more conscious of their dietary options. 

Jernette is a licensed chemical engineer and prosecutes chemical patent applications handled by PIWI. Her technological interests include oil and energy, medical, and nuclear engineering. Jernette may be reached at jlsoblepias@pinoyipworks.com.

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