Technology

Scientists Discovered that Hemp batteries are eight times more powerful than Lithium

According to new research, waste fibers from hemp crops, out-perform graphene for a thousandth of the cost. So the question pops up, is there anything hemp can’t do?

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It’s been a year since hemp became legal to grow in the United States. We’ve seen its power to make better clothing, better buildings, and better medicine. Scientists discovered that hemp is also better for something else too. That is making batteries.

Most auto batteries are made from lithium-ion. It is an expensive, quickly disappearing material. A team of American and Canadian researchers manages to develop a battery that could be used in cars and power tools. This batter is made from hemp bast fiber. That is the inner bark of the plant that usually ends up in landfills. 

First, they cook the woody pulp and process them into carbon nanosheets, and using these nanosheets supercapacitors were built. “On a par with or better than graphene” – the industry gold standards.  

Graphene is a synthetic carbon material. It is lighter than foil but it is bulletproof and prohibitively expensive to make. 

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Inventor David Mitlin tells the BBC, “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.”

Mitlin is a professor of chemical engineering at Clarkson University in New York. He first published a description of his team’s battery in the journal ACS Nano in 2014. 

Recently, a YouTuber named Robert Murray Smith put the hemp battery to the test in his youtube channel about batteries, against a lithium-ion battery. He found that hemp batteries are 8 times more powerful than lithium-ion batteries. 

Tesla built a new battery called a million-mile battery. It is made from lithium-ion phosphate. It is supposed to last twice as long as conventional lithium-ion batteries. Even though more abundant and cheaper than lithium-ion and lithium-ion-phosphate. Those still can’t compete with the apparently far more powerful and also renewable hemp!.

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