Scientists from the University of California and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have discovered a new way to contain a record breaking amount of energy. It could bear serious implications for many different types of industry.
The technique involves 3D printing a microscopic scaffold of porous graphene and then filling it with a conductive pseudo-capacitive gel that behaves as if it were a battery. Such a capacitor is rechargeable, however usually capacitors cannot contain as much energy as batteries can in the same amount of space.
“Super-capacitors” are an attempted solution to this problem, unfortunately they are still relatively limited by the total amount of surface area that can host electrode material. Experts have tried to eliminate this problem by stacking multiple layers of electrode material between alternating metallic sheets.
Scientists from California discovered a much more efficient way to achieve more surface area by employing a porous material. The circular walls of each pore create extra surface area that the pseudo-capacitive gel can fill, while Graphene’s unique meta-material qualities lend even more potential energy, creating an efficient composite for manufacturing record breaking super-capacitors.
It’s important to note that the amount of time between discovery of more efficient techniques for manufacturing and actual commercial availability is usually significant and can take up to an entire decade, however with that being said you can probably expect to see more and more Graphene based products in the future Due to it’s extremely light weight, durable and superconductive qualities Graphene is uniquely qualified for many different industries including solar power, batteries automobile and aircraft manufacturing etc.