Graphene is created from a single layer of carbon. Its discovery won the Nobel prize in 2010 It is currently one of the strongest materials known and is extremely flexible. By applying graphite oxide to a plastic disc, then a laser oxidizes the solution to create graphene. When the graphene is connected to a circuit to power a small light bulb, the researchers found out something innovative. The graphene was able to power the light bulb for 100x longer than it was charged.
The team is focusing on using graphene to create a supercapacitor. This will allow them to take the best assets of a battery, the high storage capacity, with the best assets of a capacitor, fast charge and discharge. The charge from the graphene supercapacitor will last 100 to 1000x longer than a standard battery while charging almost instantly.
The carbon based graphene supercapacitor is revolutionary in the sense that it is biodegradeable. Standard batteries are made from hazardous metals and chemicals that cannot be disposed of. The graphene supercapacitor would allow users to compost the finish battery when they are done using it.
The opportunities for graphene are endless, aside from being one of the strongest materials, it has the ability to revolutionize the world of energy storage. The team is currently working to integrate the technology into automobile charging stations. With the fast charging capability that the graphene supercapacitor offers, cars would be able to drive into the charging station similar to as if they would fi ll up with gasoline. However, after a few minutes, rather than their tanks being fully charged, their batteries would be fully charged and ready to go.