Graphene battery according to experts can be compared to supercapacitors that can power the world at a lesser cost. Batteries in general serve as a great source of mobile power without the need to plug into an outlet. Batteries allow electricity operated devices to work. One of the uses of graphene is that it is a potent conductor of electrical and thermal energy. Even if this material is so small which is actually compose of a sheet of carbon atoms bounded together it is packed with what is referred to as graphene strength. Since one of the properties of graphene is that it is sustainable and yet eco-friendly, this means to say that there are unlimited possibilities in terms of numerous applications.
Conventional batteries are significantly enhance when graphene is use. Graphene strength lies on its ability to improve battery attributes as energy density are form in various ways. Imagine the possibilities of incorporating graphene conductivity to Li-ion batteries. One of the uses of graphene in terms of powering up batteries is that when it is introduce to the battery’s anode it can capitalize on the graphene conductivity and large surface to enhance its performance.
Research experts have found out that by using hybrid materials and banking on the properties of graphene they were able to produce to enhance the battery’s performance. A discovery was made that using a hybrid of Vanadium Oxide and graphene can be used on Li-ion cathodes resulting to quick charge and discharge. In addition to this there is a large charge cycle durability. On its own Vanadium Oxide can only offer energy capacity but, poor electrical conductivity. In this case properties of graphene will act as a sort of structural backbone that VO can attach to.
In a bid to revolutionize the battery market combining the use of graphene batteries with supercapacitors can produce amazing results. A great application for this concept is to improve an electric car’s driving range and efficiency. These properties of graphene is obviously not limited to small graphene battery alone. There are certain types of batteries that can store large amount of energy however they are very large, heavy and can only release energy slowly. Capacitors are able to charge and discharge the amount of energy more than what these batteries can do. Using the properties of graphene lends this ordinary battery to store more energy with high charge and discharge rates at budget friendly prices. The use of graphene battery therefore is more economical and can be afforded by everybody.
This example clearly shows how graphene batteries can perform better and is a fine example of how supercapacitors and batteries can work together to produce better results. The world’s first graphene battery enhance by the properties of graphene was introduced just last June 2014. The product weighs 450 grams and has the ability to provide 7,200 mAh. Prior to this an American company introduce a new line of graphene enhanced anode materials for Lithium-ion batteries. However, the plan was to launch the product by the end of 2014. The materials use for this graphene battery is named NANO GCA.
The concept for this graphene battery is that it is capable of supporting hundreds of charge and discharge cycles by combining high capacity silicon with properties of graphene. Still, there are plans of producing graphene enhanced Lithium batteries for electric buses under the Electric Bus 1 Malaysia program. There are no official announcements yet but, experts assume that these experts will use properties of graphene for this new battery technology. In the United Kingdom, companies that are UK based have agreed to produce graphene battery based electrodes for Lithium Sulphur batteries. This will enable electric cars to drive a longer distance on a single graphene battery charge.
The number of new ventures into producing graphene batteries are numerous to count and there are still new players who are joining in to produce their version of these graphene batteries. Suffice it to say that the field of graphene enhanced graphene battery is continuously brimming with fresh new activities. These research strives on improving the use of these materials. As early as the second quarter of 2014, cheaper Lithium batteries made with graphene battery enhance materials was introduce by the University of Southern California.
Another great example was introduce in the 3rd quarter of 2014 where Wuhan University of Technology develop their new graphene batteries based high energy electrode for Lithium batteries by using 3D crumpled graphene. This graphene batteries based product encapsulates Nickel Sulfide. During the same period of time, in Korea develop their new method of fabricating defect free graphene. As a result, Koreans were able to produce a promising high performing anode for Li-Ion batteries. At the same time the Rice University was able to develop what they refer to as tough ultra-light foam made from 2D materials. This foam serves as structural component for graphene batteries supercapacitors and gas absorbing materials.
Properties of Graphene
When it was first discovered graphene was thought to be an odd ball. However, as experts find out about the properties of this material amazement is a pretty plain word to describe what they must have felt. First of all, graphene is known for its strength. Imagine their reaction when they found out that the sheet of atoms that it can pick up can blow anyone’s mind. Graphene is transparent. This means graphene batteries have the ability to absorb about 2.3 percent of light that lands on it. Some say that these single layer of graphene batteries atom can be seen by the naked eye.
Applying this principle practically, graphene can be a great component for touchscreens as well. As of this time what most screens used are those made from Indium Tin Oxide or better known as ITO. There is a great difference between the used of these materials. For example ITO is brittle whereas graphene is not. This all reverts back to its strength.
Graphene has no band gap. By the way, this is the gap between energy of an electron when bounded to an atom. There was a time before graphene was introduce that an electron cannot have energy level between these two states. Graphene was found to be a good candidate for photovoltaic cells. For one, it was able to absorb photons with energy at every frequency. Graphene having no bad gap does not always serve a great purpose. The solution was to induce a small band gap in graphene to dope it. This can be useful for radio where amplifiers can work better. However, for radio transistors there is a need for bigger gap.
Uses of Graphene
The properties of graphene when applied to Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries can enhance its LFP cathodes. This will allow LFP to be lightweight, charge faster and have greater capacity than before. Suffice to say that with so many amazing properties it would be hard to narrow them all. Producing graphene batteries is a continuous process. Everyday scientist come up with some new applications for these properties of graphene. This material is stiffer than diamond. It is the most impermeable material ever discovered by man. As proof of this even helium atoms cannot squeeze through it. In practical applications this means this material can be used for gas detectors. Even the smallest quantity of gas that escapes will get caught in its lattice to change its electrical properties.
Practical uses for these would be applying this material to use for special racquets that has less weight but is strong enough. Tennis players will love to play their game since these tennis racquets will be stronger yet lightweight. These are two factors that players would love to see in a product. Graphene can be used to filter water. Imagine its tiny holes yet big enough to let water pass through and let the salt out. This can even transform salt water into drinkable water. This makes salt water fit for human consumption.
One of the weird but useful properties of this material is that this graphite based material offers unimpeded conduction of electrons. As far as 2002, experts have discovered that graphene is actually an unzipped carbon nanotube. The simplest explanation for a layman’s point of view is that this makes this material operate similar to a superconductor however, it functions best at room temperature. Graphene at room temperature can conduct electricity in the limit of no electrons. This means electricity can be more efficient, faster and precise with the use of these graphene batteries.
In practical uses, graphene is use to boost thermal conductivity of the common plastic polyethylene terepthalate or PET by as much as 600 times. Physicist and engineers views this as an opportunity to improve the use of plastics while at the same time electronic chips since graphene base material has the ability to conduct heat. After all graphene even when it is just one atom thick has the exceptional high thermal conductivity of about 2000 to 5000 W/mk near room temperature. However, it was observed that once this material is placed near a substrate this can scatter. Even though this happens, it cannot be denied that the thermal conduction of each graphene layer still remains high compared to other materials used for the same purpose.
Experts say that the trick when using this material is that its amazing properties will only work if using continuous perfect sheets of it. When compared to the conductivity of a copper. The results came out, graphene offers a better improvement even if copper is 6 times dense than graphene. However, the setback though is that it is still easier to use metal wires instead of using graphene for these types of bulk application that is. Consumers are willing to compromise as long as they have the better end of the deal. This is what experts should consider while they are in the process of producing new products out of graphene.
There is also that mundane issue that graphene is brittle like ceramic which might cause mechanical issues. These are just some of the present issues that graphene developers need to take into consideration as well. Suffice it to say that the world is still awaiting when these discoveries are mass produce for human consumption and practical applications for households. It seems that the uses for graphene are confined mostly on what is use for industries. To date, graphene holds the record beating diamond in terms of thermal conductivity. Graphene even holds the record over conducting heat better than any other known material in the world.
After it was discovered just about a decade ago this super material is said to offer countless unbelievable applications both now and in the distant future. Graphene according to the scientific community has been praise for being the world’s strongest known material. At this point these properties of graphene are yet to be proven in terms of practical use and having it sold to the public at an affordable price. However, this could be one day for real.
Researchers are challenge to measure the intrinsic strength of this material. This is that this material hopefully can take the greatest stress so that it can withstand all the atoms when these are pulled together. Some issues needs to be ironed out like the microscopic cracks observe. These are said to be weaker than surrounding material. Experts have already started out doing it right. To date more experiments are still ongoing and who knows next what these new discoveries will come up with? World say hello to graphene batteries.