Researchers “cook” hemp bark using their hydrothermal synthesis process, creating a material which can be used to make supercapacitors, one of the promising uses of graphene. Their material however can be produced for a fraction of the cost.
Dr Mitlin’s team took these fibres and recycled them into supercapacitors – energy storage devices which are transforming the way electronics are powered.
Conventional batteries store large reservoirs of energy and drip-feed it slowly, whereas supercapacitors can rapidly discharge their entire load..
They are ideal in machines that rely on sharp bursts of power. In electric cars, for example, supercapacitors are used for regenerative braking..
Releasing this torrent requires electrodes with high surface area – one of graphene’s many phenomenal properties.