In many scientific breakthroughs, researchers often associate one idea with another in the most unexpected way. Inspired by the same polymer found in contact lenses, a team of UK scientists developed a new type of supercapacitor, an energy storage device that holds more electricity and charges faster than any current battery technologies.
It needs to be pointed out that capacitors are not batteries, even though both store electrical energy. Capacitors, large and small, are commonly used in circuit boards to store charges temporarily. The potential energy in a capacitor is stored in an electric field, whereas a battery keeps its energy in a chemical form.
According to their research, a supercapacitor with an equivalent energy storage capacity of nowadays electric vehicle batteries can charge a car in 10 minutes instead of hours required for lithium-ion batteries. But the drawback is that their technology won't hold energy for a long period of time: you leave a supercapacitor for a month or so, it would have completely lost all of its charges.
The Bristol-Surrey researchers believed that by fine-tuning their technology, supercapacitors could be used to power electric cars in the near future.
Source: Seeker via Youtube