July 2, 2018 - 2:00 AM EDT
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UK Environmental Coalition Pursues Carbon Quantum Wire and Capacitance in Support of Government's Recently Announced Clean Growth Initiative

Quantum Conducting Wire Capacitors Provide a Non-Toxic Alternative to Chemical Batteries in a Wide Range of Climate Change Applications

LONDON, July 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In May, UK Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry announced the United Kingdom's goal to lead an international challenge with Saudi Arabia and Mexico to remove carbon from emissions.

Consistent with this objective, and highlighting the important role of innovation in supporting cost reduction, a collaboration of Very Large Scale Decarbonization Partners (VLS Decarb) and Swansea University's Energy Safety and Research Institute (ESRI) is developing carbon nanotube quantum conducting wire and capacitor technologies; the latter of which will provide a vastly superior battery alternative to lithium ion battery technology and other chemical battery formats, the former of which will afford huge savings in energy costs by virtue of drastically reducing energy losses in electric power transmissions lines and affording the storage of intermittently produced electric power from renewables such as wind, wave and sun.

These innovations will assist hugely in controlling atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (CO2) to within the levels stipulated by the Paris Climate Change Accord of December 2015. Specifically, quantum conducting wire and capacitors could obviate enormous volumes of CO2 generated in the production of electric power; volumes sufficient to potentially arrest the progression of climate change and achieve the goal of reversing the harmful effects being experienced from unmitigated CO2 emissions of human origins.

The VLS Decarb Research and Development Consortium – The group's patent pending suite of technologies is being advanced by an extensive R&D collaboration involving VLS Decarb's academic and industry partners, which includes, in addition to the Energy Safety Research Institute at Swansea University, an international array of academic and governmental institutions and funding agencies. This research and development effort is funded in part by the Welsh Government Sêr Cymru Chair Programme and the Sêr Cymru National Research Network in Advanced Engineering and Materials (NRN-150) in partnership with VLS Decarb.

"Armchair" Quantum Conducting Wire (AQW) and "Armchair" Quantum Capacitors (AQC) - The group's patented and patent pending suite of technologies enable the development and deployment of AQW and AQCs.
What are they? AQW and AQC are composed of single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) of correct "chirality" (molecular geometry), diameter, and length (perceived as resembling "armchairs" in their molecular appearance) and have been shown to possess quantum conductance. Therefore, they are sometimes referred to as "metallic" carbon nanotubes. Typically, SWCNTs are about one nanometer in diameter, which is about 1/100,000th the diameter of a human hair.

Figure One – Armchair carbon nanotube design

How do they Work? – In an armchair SWCNT, the electrons travel ballistically down the length of the tube without slowing down or changing direction. The electrons also hop from one SWCNT to the next via a quantum tunneling effect. Altogether, these features impart armchair quantum wire (AQW) with the property of conducting electricity at room temperature with near-zero loss, and at one-sixth the weight of copper. 

Concatenation of such carbon nanotubes to achieve greater length and bundling of these individual segments will produce "Armchair" Quantum Conducting Wire (AQW) that can be spooled and/or shaped into "Armchair" Quantum Conducting Capacitors (AQC) of greatly varying application-specific architectures and geometries capable of very large energy storage and release potentials.

The essential components of a capacitor include one or more pairs of conducting elements separated by a dielectric.  A dielectric is an electrical insulator that can be polarized by an applied electric field. 

Figure Two -- Fundamental Capacitor Architecture

Benefits – Carbon nanotube quantum capacitors could provide a superior alternative to lithium ion batteries in terms of performance aspects such as:

  • Conductivity 6.3 times greater
  • Near zero thermal expansion – passes more current without thermal burden
  • Dramatically reduced size for equal energy storage
  • Much lighter (30%) weight for equal energy storage
  • Very rapid charging times
  • Essentially infinite operational life

They are composed of materials that are completely inert and non-toxic, and their use will obviate the environmentally catastrophic process of mining lithium and the highly problematic disposal of lithium ion batteries. Similarly, other the adverse environmental impacts of other chemical battery formats can be obviated.

From the manufacturing and utilization perspectives, carbon nanotube quantum capacitors will have wide application in virtually every industry and sector of human endeavor, including, but not limited to:

  • Vehicular power systems
  • Residential distributed energy plans
  • Supporting role in providing sustainable clean energy from intermittently available sources such as wind, wave and solar
  • In an of itself, the manufacturing process can be carbon sequestering, especially for synthesis from certain problematic carbon sources such as non-recyclable plastic.

Interestingly, the current density predicted for a 1367 kcmil SWCNT cable operating at 75 °C is roughly 1,000 Amps per square centimeter, which is 10 times the value possible for aluminum alloys. If the Armchair Quantum Wire turns out to perform as well as can reasonably expected its impact could be profound in terms of capital expenditure and system reliability. 

Application of Quantum Capacitor Cars and Utility Vehicles

Light Weight / High Strength Structural Design – These vehicles will be comparatively very light weight as their manufacture will be almost entirely from carbon fiber; chassis, panel and structural components.

The Quantum Capacitor Battery Equivalent (or QCBE) Assemblies are placed throughout the carbon fiber constructed chassis and body panels, floor boards, etc. and will be easily accessed for replacement or interchanging with charged spares, which can be rented from supply stations, or carried as spares in the boot. 

Recharging Advantages – Recharging could be extremely rapid; as there is such low resistance to conduction and accepting the charge. Flexibility in maintaining electric energy supply to motors and components will be replete. QCBEs naturally discharge at a slower rate than conventional capacitors.

AQC Vehicles will feature Full Auto Pilot Capability but will only be operable when occupied by a Full Time Human Pilot imbued with Overriding Monitoring and Intervention Capability when deemed necessary or in certain appropriate driving situations, i.e., off road or the streets of London.

VLS Decarb Founder John Francis Thrash MD said, "Carbon Nano-tube Quantum Conducting Wire and Capacitance can provide a completely non-toxic, in terms of production and utilization, source of energy storage at a virtually any scale ranging from supporting optimal consumption of wind, wave and solar derived electricity to more efficient and practical electric cars to out cell phones and other small electronic devices, completely eliminating the environmentally adverse impacts of using chemical battery formats, such as lithium ion batteries."

ESRI Founder and Director Prof Andrew R Barron said, "Lithium represents the key limiting resource for most batteries. Its current method of extraction is extremely harmful to the environment, meaning that while there is a local benefit of using Li-ion battery cars there is an overall global negative impact. If EVs are to increase market penetration then alternative storage technology is required or lithium producing countries, such as Chile, Argentina and Bolivia, could succumb environmental devastation."

About VLS Decarb and the Energy Safety Research Institute

Very Large Scale Decarbonization Partners (VLS Decarb) has been formed to utilize the company's proprietary suite of major market patented and globally patent pending technologies to further develop, and deploy at scale, clean commercial energy strategies which will result in profoundly reduced planetary atmospheric CO2 through emissions elimination and permanent sequestration.

John Francis Thrash MD is Chairman and CEO of VLS Decarb and a key contributor to the creation and development of VLS Decarb's proprietary intellectual property.

The Energy Safety Research Institute is positioned to discover and implement new technology for a sustainable, affordable, and secure energy future and is housed on Swansea University's new world class Bay Campus. ESRI provides an exceptional environment for delivering cutting edge research across energy and energy safety-related disciplines with a focus on renewable energy, hydrogen, carbon capture and utilization, as well as new oil and gas technologies.

Prof. Andrew R Barron is a Sêr Cymru II Fellow and Senior Lecturer in ESRI at Swansea and the Founder and Director of ESRI, as well as the Charles W. Duncan Jr.–Welch Chair of Chemistry and a Professor of Materials Science and Nanoengineering at Rice University in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Alvin Orbaek White is the Sêr Cymru Chair of Low Carbon Energy and Environment at Swansea. His research focuses on the production of high value carbon products to insure a secure global energy future.


Prof. Andrew R Barron: e-mail: [email protected]
John Francis Thrash MD: email: [email protected]

Related materials

ESRI: http://www.esri-swansea.org
Swansea University: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/
Follow ESRI via Twitter @ESRI_Swansea


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Source: PR Newswire (July 2, 2018 - 2:00 AM EDT)

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