CFD Research Utilizing Plant-Derived Carbon Materials to Develop Supercapacitors

CFD Research Utilizing Plant-Derived Carbon Materials to Develop Supercapacitors

(Huntsville, Ala. | June 8, 2022) – CFD Research was recently awarded a $1.5M contract from the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to develop non-toxic supercapacitors based on plant-derived carbon materials. Electrostatic double-layer capacitors, also known as supercapacitors, provide high power densities, ultrafast recharge, and long cycle lives for missile defense system electronics applications requiring high duty cycle, and high pulse power output.

“Metal oxides are commonly incorporated into supercapacitor electrodes to improve energy density and performance, and the organic electrolytes commonly use acetonitrile, which is toxic,” said Dr. Vernon Cole, CFD Research technical fellow and principal investigator for this project. “The presence of metal oxides and toxic solvents complicates end of life device disposal.”

The Missile Defense Agency has been seeking non-toxic alternatives to the electrode materials and electrolytes used in high voltage supercapacitors to simplify and reduce the cost of disposal of these devices at the end of life. CFD Research and its partners will develop and deliver a supercapacitor based on plant-derived carbon electrodes with non-toxic organic electrolytes. The team will optimize and scale up the production of non-toxic plant-derived carbon electrodes and develop a suitable non-toxic organic electrolyte formulation for demonstration in a high voltage supercapacitor.

“The non-toxic prototype supercapacitor will be designed to deliver energy and power density comparable to or better than existing commercial devices containing toxic constituents,” noted Matt Bender, CFD Research Vice President of Energy and Materials division.

About CFD Research: Since its inception in 1987, CFD Research has worked with government agencies, businesses, and academia to provide innovative solutions within the Aerospace & Defense, Biomedical & Life Sciences, and Energy & Materials industries. Over the years CFD Research has earned multiple national awards for the successful application and commercialization of innovative technology prototypes, multi-physics simulation software, multi-disciplinary analyses, and expert support services. CFD Research’s impressive three-year growth rate was high enough to recognize the company in the Inc. Magazine’s 5000 for the second year in a row. CFD Research is an ISO9001 and AS9100 registered company and is appraised at CMMI Level II for services. Learn more at