Hemp (cannabis sativa) is a pretty versatile plant, and for centuries has been used for clothing, paper, fabric, and lately it’s been used for medicine, building materials, food, and even fuel. Its versatility is so extensive that the energy storage industry is taking a look at it.
New research in Canada shows that supercapacitors with electrodes made from hemp carbon nanosheets outperform the standard supercapacitors by almost 200 percent. The material usually used for supercapacitor electrodes, graphene, is expensive, costing as much as $2,000 per gram.
Researchers tout supercapacitors as energy storage devices that have a lot of potential to change the way future electronics are powered.
Graphene is a very strong lightweight material made of layers of stacked carbon that can be converted into electrodes. Researchers have been looking to how the material can be used for all kinds of different uses, such as longer-lasting batteries, touchscreen technology, solar cells for solar panels, among others, but cost is a big factor. And that’s where hemp steps in.
Researchers at the University of Alberta/National Institute for Nanotechnology developed a process that converts fibrous hemp waste into a material that works like graphene and even outperforms it, and costs much less — $500 per ton.
Researchers say the results look very promising for greater use of low-cost hemp to address the country’s growing energy needs.
Article by: Patricia Guadalupe
Interconnected Carbon Nanosheets
Derived from Hemp for Ultrafast
Supercapacitors with High Energy
Published article can be found at: http://nanographene.org/documents/cannabis_graphene.pdf