Nanotechnology pivotal for energy storage – white paper

Nanotechnology pivotal for energy storage – white paper
Image: Sila Nanotechnologies

Nanotechnology serves as a pivotal component in advancements in energy storage and solar conversion, a new white paper from the World Nano Foundation states.

Nanotechnology, generally regarded as technologies at the atomic and molecular scales of size less than 100nm (1nm corresponding to a billionth of a metre), is a fast-growing area with the potential to impact many areas of activity.

One such is energy storage in which nanoscale innovations have already led to improvements, including the creation of advanced batteries with higher energy density and faster charging.

For example, California-based Sila Nanotechnologies has developed nanotechnology-based lithium-ion batteries with up to 20% capacity enhancement with the potential that can offer, for example to the improved range of electric vehicles or for use of wearable devices.

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Likewise nanotechnology has also boosted solar cell efficiency by incorporating nanoscale structures like quantum dots and perovskite materials, the white paper points out – the technology also gives rise to hybrid solar cells that both generate and store energy simultaneously.

Nanoscale supercapacitors offer high power density and rapid energy discharge, ideal for energy storage applications.

Quoting a projected market size for energy storage and conversion of $17 billion by 2028, the white paper states that despite the existing hurdles, the market is on a growth trajectory.

Investments and startups that revolve around nanotechnology for energy storage and conversion, in addition to prominent academic institutions like the US Department of Energy (DOE), Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and universities worldwide, understand the importance of crafting new materials for sustainable energy applications.

Nanomaterials possess the potential to greatly enhance ion transportation and electron conductivity, which could be the solution to advancing this field.

The white paper notes, however, some barriers to entry in the field. Among these are the exorbitant expenditure for research and development and a lengthy development process, while also there are regulatory obstacles that can complicate market penetration.

The white paper concludes that with continuous research and collaboration, nanotechnology will persist in driving innovation and serve as an essential tool for pioneers in the field of energy storage and conversion, empowering them to break new ground in sustainable energy.