Yunya Zhang, University of Virginia
Converting Eggs to Flexible, All-Solid Supercapacitors
Written by Tianyu Liu
How do you typically enjoy an egg? Hard boil? Blend it with rice? For Yunya Zhang from the University of Virginia, he chose not to eat the egg but transformed it into a functional device—a supercapacitor that can store electrical energy!
Zhang’s supercapacitor was derived from eggs exclusively. The research group synthesized graphene-like porous carbon sheets by pyrolysis of blends of yolk, white, and shell pieces, blended the yolk and white with potassium hydroxide to solidify the liquid into a gel as an electrolyte, and used a piece of eggshell membrane as a separator. With the electrodes, electrolyte, and separator at hand, the researchers assembled an all-egg-based supercapacitor that could store electricity! Zhang concluded his presentation by acknowledging his PhD advisor, who allowed him to conduct the “crazy” work.