Scientists announce development of high powered hemp based battery
This past week at the American Chemical Society’s national meeting in San Francisco, a team of scientists shared their plan for a cheap, clean and efficient super battery that will be largely composed of cannabis derivatives.
This was no fringe meeting, this is actually one of the world’s largest scientific organizations, and the event featured over 12,000 presentations on a variety of highly respected subjects.
At the meeting, engineering professor David Mitlin presented the findings of his study, which highlighted the potential for industrial hemp as a primary component in high powered batteries called super-capacitors. Currently, graphene is used as the primary component for super-capacitors, but the study found that hemp can work just as good, if not better than graphene, and it is also cleaner, cheaper and easier to obtain.
“Our device’s electrochemical performance is on par with or better than graphene-based devices. The key advantage is that our electrodes are made from biowaste using a simple process, and therefore, are much cheaper than graphene,” Mitlin said in the ACS press release.
“Mitlin’s group decided to see if they could make graphene-like carbons from hemp bast fibers. The fibers come from the inner bark of the plant and often are discarded from Canada’s fast-growing industries that use hemp for clothing, construction materials and other products. His team found that if they heated the fibers for 24 hours at a little over 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and then blasted the resulting material with more intense heat, it would exfoliate into carbon nanosheets. Mitlin’s team built their supercapacitors using the hemp-derived carbons as electrodes and an ionic liquid as the electrolyte.”
Mitlin says that the hemp battery is almost ready for manufacturing.
“We’re past the proof-of-principle stage for the fully functional super-capacitor. Now we’re gearing up for small-scale manufacturing,” Mitlin said