Effective Utilization of Waste Red Mud for High Performance Supercapacitor Electrodes

Gourav Bhattacharya, Sam Fishlock, Joy Sankar Roy, Anurag Pritam, Debosmita Banerjee, Sujit Deshmukh, Subhasis Ghosh, James McLaughlin, SS. Roy

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In recent years, metal oxide-based, inexpensive, stable electrodes are being explored as a potent source of high performance, sustainable supercapacitors. Here, the employment of industrial waste red mud as a pseudocapacitive electrode material is reported. Mechanical milling is used to produce uniform red mud nanoparticles, which are rich in hematite (Fe2O3), and lower amounts of other metal oxides. A comprehensive supercapacitive study of the electrode is presented as a function of ball-milling time up to 15 h. Ten-hour ball-milled samples exhibit the highest pseudocapacitive behaviour with a specific capacitance value of ≈317 F g−1, at a scan rate of 10 mV s−1 in 6 m aqueous potassium hydroxide electrolyte solution. The modified electrode shows an extraordinary retention of ≈97% after 5000 cycles. A detailed quantitative electrochemical analysis is carried out to understand the charge storage mechanism at the electrode–electrolyte interface. The formation of uniform nanoparticles and increased electrode stability are correlated with the high performance. This work presents two significant benefits for the environment; in energy storage, it shows the production of a stable and efficient supercapacitor electrode, and in waste management with new applications for the treatment of red mud.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1800066
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalGlobal Challenges
Issue number2
Early online date25 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 3 Feb 2019


  • long-term cyclic stability
  • red mud
  • supercapacitors
  • waste management


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