Hemp is an incredible crop. A plant that can be used for a wide variety of purposes due to its great adaptability. Even while hemp is widely used in textiles, food, and paper production, as well as for industrial uses, new research suggests that hemp batteries are more potent than lithium and graphene.
YouTube star Robert Murray Smith talked about the experiment there. First, Smith measured the voltage and current of hemp and lithium batteries using a Volts-by-Amps chart.To his dismay, the hemp cell’s power output was 31 watts, while the lithium cell’s output was only 4 watts.
Smith insists that he has not accomplished anything noteworthy. He claims that the experiment’s results reveal that the hemp cell performs “significantly better” than its lithium equivalent.
However, even if this is the first time you have heard of hemp’s power potential, it is not a recent discovery. “Ultrafast” supercapacitors that are “better than graphene” can be made from hemp plant waste fibers known as “shiv,” according to researchers in the United States 2014.
The artificial carbon material known as graphene is bulletproof while also being lighter than foil.
It is clear that graphene’s manufacture requires a lot of expensive equipment, with cost being the biggest drawback. Hemp, on the other hand, only costs one-tenth of the price to produce.
Researchers at Clarkson University in New York, under the direction of Dr. David Mitlin, created carbon nanosheets out of plant bark fibers that would otherwise wind up in landfills or compost piles. It is called hydrothermal synthesis to encompass all of the steps involved in the process.
After that, the fibers were turned into energy storage devices called supercapacitors by the research team. Electronics now run on supercapacitors instead of batteries. Over the course of their lifespan, traditional batteries slowly drain their energy reserves while supercapacitors instantly drain their entire charge.
Short, rapid bursts of power are typically needed in these machines. Dr. Mitlin remarked as follows: “People ask me: why hemp? I say, why not? We’re making graphene-like materials for a thousandth of the price – and we’re doing it with waste.”
According to Mitlin: “…you can do really interesting things with bio-waste. With banana peels, for instance, you can turn them into a dense block of carbon – we call it pseudo-graphite – and that’s great for sodium-ion batteries. But if you look at hemp fiber, its structure is the opposite – it makes sheets with a high surface area – and that’s very conducive to supercapacitors.
Because of the high energy density and wide operating temperature range of the produced supercapacitors, Mitlin comes to this conclusion. The device is “on par with or better than commercial graphene-based devices,” according to a peer-reviewed scientific study.
Mitlin went on to say: “They work down to 0C and display some of the best power-energy combinations reported in the literature for any carbon. For example, at a very high power density of 20 kW/kg (kilowatt per kilo) and temperatures of 20, 60, and 100C, the energy densities are 19, 34, and 40 Wh/kg (watt-hours per kilo) respectively.”
The machine’s energy density, at 12 Wh/kg, may be reached in less than six seconds of charging when it is fully built. Texas-based Alternet stated in 2018 that it would be working with Mitlin to power ReVolt Electric Motorbikes, a subsidiary of Alternet.
Hemp is proving to be a vital resource thanks to studies like these. As more countries begin to legalize the plant, perhaps more companies will follow suit and help change our globe into a sustainable energy source.