Two electrodes made by soaking this material in a standard electrolyte, separated by a thin space or an insulating layer, form a very powerful supercapacitor, the researchers found. A cube about 3.5 meters across could store about 10 kilowatt-hours.
The simple technology could eventually be incorporated into the concrete foundation of a house, where it could store a day’s worth of energy. The researchers also envision a roadway that could provide contactless recharging for electric cars as they travel.
It’s “a new way of looking toward the future of concrete as part of the energy transition,” Ulm says.