Biopolymer hybrid electrodes for scalable electricity storage
Powering the future, while maintaining a cleaner environment and a strong socioeconomic growth, is going to be one of the biggest challenges faced by mankind in the 21st century. The first step in overcoming the challenge for a sustainable future is to use energy more efficiently so that the demand for fossil fuels can be reduced drastically. The second step is a transition from the use of fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. In this sense, organic electrode materials are becoming increasingly attractive compared to inorganic electrode materials which have reached a plateau regarding performance and have severe drawbacks in terms of cost, safety and environmental friendliness. Using organic composites based on conducting polymers, such as polypyrrole, and abundant, cheap and naturally occurring biopolymers rich in quinones, such as lignin, has recently emerged as an interesting alternative. These materials, which exhibit electronic and ionic conductivity, provide challenging opportunities in the development of new charge storage materials. This review presents an overview of recent developments in organic biopolymer composite electrodes as renewable electroactive materials towards sustainable, cheap and scalable energy storage devices.