Each day, the potential of graphene batteries continue to develop and grow more apparent because of the numerous headlines and graphene news that boasts about new battery materials and graphene electrodes.
Graphene, which is a sheet of extremely thin atom-bound layers that form together in a lattice patterned like a honeycomb, is widely known as a star or wonder material because of its huge number of astonishingly notable attributes and properties. Graphene is one of the best thermal and electrical energy conductors, is extremely lightweight, flexible with an expansive surface area, and is a chemically inert and flexible element. Furthermore, graphene is also thought to be eco-friendly plus it is known as a sustainable element with unlimited possibilities for a variety of applications.
In the year 2012, lithium-ion batteries of silicone-graphene anodes were thoroughly demonstrated and researchers have established a lithium-ion battery created from silicone and graphene; it has been claimed that the battery lasted for over a week on a single charge that lasts just for fifteen minutes. The graphene batteries’ field is overflowing with research and activity where researchers and experts seek to develop better and improve various materials. An example would be the development of a new graphene and aluminum-based battery technology by the scientists of Stanford; they have claimed that their creation has a variety of advantages compared to lithium batteries. They state that their battery is more flexible, can be charged in as fast as a minute, plus it is highly durable compared to these lithium batteries available. Additionally, their batteries are highly cost-effective and non-reactive which means that unlike lithium batteries, the aluminum and graphene-based ones will not result in random sparking occurrences.
In April of 2014, researchers from a certain university have designed a better, more efficient and much cheaper li-ion battery. The anode of the battery was created out of silicon while the cathode was created from sulfur powder that has been coated with graphene oxide. The coating of GO seems to have solved the poor cyclability and conductivity of sulfur which has resulted in newly grown cathodes which offer five times the capability of commercial ones.
In February of 2015, the researchers of the Korean Sungkyunkwan University declared that the creation of an electrode material that resembles a sponge made use of polymer and graphene so it would allow the fusion of efficient and light graphene battery; the electrode was created from a porous, graphene aerogel that resulted from mixing graphene and alcohol. These researchers have stated that they were able to create a battery that is ten times smaller compared to the present graphene batteries, but are similar when it comes to its performance and capabilities. Furthermore, they were able to preserve the same performance despite going through the restoration and compression procedure for more than ten million times.
Also in the year 2015, an argon-ion based plasma conversion process was taken advantage of so they could hound graphene samples with argon ions which eventually removed some carbon atoms while it also expanded the material’s capacitance.
Graphene batteries serve and work as a mobile source of energy which allows devices powered by electricity to function without having to be plugged directly into an outlet. While there are wide selections of battery types existing nowadays, the main idea by which these batteries function remains the same: single or more electrochemical cells alter stocked chemical energy to electrical energy.
The graphene battery is usually made of plastic or metal casings that contain an anode or positive terminal, and a cathode which is the negative terminal; also, these are made up of electrolytes that allow ions to flow freely between them. A separator, which is an absorbent polymeric membrane, builds an obstruction between the cathode and anode to thwart electrical short circuits while simultaneously allowing the flow of ionic charge carriers that are necessary to close the circuit when current passes through. Lastly, to conduct the charge outside the graphene battery through a connected gadget, the use of a collector will be required.
Once the circuits between both terminals have been completed, the graphene battery begins producing electricity through a succession of reactions where the anode experiences an oxidation response where two or even more ions that come from the electrolyte, fuse with the present anode to create a compound that releases electrons. Also, the present cathode flows through a reduction response where the substance of the cathode, the ions, as well as the free electrons, eventually fusing into compounds. With that said, the reaction of these anodes produces electrons while the response exhibited by the cathode absorbs them, eventually producing electricity through the process.
The potential of graphene in batteries is slowly becoming more evident each day since there are more headlines that publicize about new battery materials and graphene electrodes.
What is Graphene?
Graphene is a thin sheet of carbon atoms that have been bound in a lattice that resembles a honeycomb pattern. This is widely known as a wonder material because of the innumerable attributes that it displays; graphene is an effective conductor of thermal and electrical energy, is exceptionally lightweight, flexible with a huge surface area, and is also chemically inert. Additionally, graphene is considered to be sustainable and eco-friendly.
Electrode materials for conventional batteries are generally enhanced and greatly improved with the use of graphene. Graphene generally allows batteries to become durable and lighter, plus it is also considered as a graphene supercapacitor for energy storage and it can also shorten the usual charging time. Furthermore, graphene will greatly extend the life of these batteries without using large quantities of carbon like in conventional batteries available.
Graphene has the ability to increase conductivity without the need for large amounts of carbon like in common batteries that we can find in most places; not only that but these can also enhance battery characteristics as energy and power density then form in a variety of ways. With Li-ion batteries, these can be improved by introducing graphene to the anode of the battery, then capitalize on the material’s generated power and wide surface area traits to attain a morphological performance and optimization.