Its incredible lightness and strength has seen it take hold in everything from competitive cycling, to supercar design to cutting edge aircraft. But could it also play a role in energy storage? One team of scientists has been exploring the possibilities, and say that carefully engineered forms of the material do indeed boast the necessary electrochemical properties, raising some interesting possibilities for weight-saving vehicle design.
The research was carried out at Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology and started with a pretty simple premise. Carbon fiber has already been shown to have potential as an electrode material in experimental batteries, while its mechanical properties are well established, so can these two attributes be combined in the one multipurpose material?