Published on 29 Nov 2022

Converting Waste Paper into Battery Parts for Smartphones and Electric Vehicles - Asst Prof Lai Changquan (MAE & MSE)

We are pleased to share that Assistant Professor Lai Changquan, a joint appointment faculty of MAE and MSE, have been featured in the news for his work on converting waste paper into battery parts for smartphones and electric vehicles. 

Through a process called carbonisation that converts paper into pure carbon, the waste paper’s fibres are turned into electrodes, which can be made into rechargeable batteries that power mobile phones, medical equipment, and electric vehicles.

Laboratory tests have shown that their carbon anodes demonstrate superior durability, flexibility, and electrochemical properties. The anodes could be charged and discharged up to 1,200 times, which is at least twice as durable as anodes in current phone batteries. The batteries that use the NTU-made anodes could also withstand more physical stress than their counterparts, absorbing crushing energy up to five times better. Furthermore, their method uses less energy-intensive processes and heavy metals compared to current industrial methods of manufacturing battery anodes.

The findings of this study were published in the scientific peer-reviewed journal Additive Manufacturing, titled "Exceptional energy absorption characteristics and compressive resilience of functional carbon foams scalably and sustainably derived from additively manufactured kraft paper" (DOI: 10.1016/j.addma.2022.102992)

The team has filed a patent with NTUitive and they are working towards commercialising their invention.

For the full media release, please visit here.

"Our method converts a common and ubiquitous material – paper – into another that is extremely durable and in high demand. We hope that our anodes will serve the world’s quickly growing need for a sustainable and greener material for batteries, whose manufacturing and improper waste management have shown to have a negative impact on our environment."

-Assistant Professor Lai Changquan-

Asst Prof Lai Changquan (right) and research engineer, Lim Guo Yao (left), presenting the anodes created using their technique. (Photo: NTUsg)

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