Research has been underway for many years, on the viability of hemp fiber as an alternative for storing energy. The turning point was in 2013 when researchers discovered how to transform hemp bast fiber into activated carbons. Other than cells, another option of storing power is through supercapacitors. They consist of graphene electrodes, a carbon nanomaterial that tends is usually expensive. Hemp batteries are supercapacitors that use hemp electrodes instead of graphene.
It is a fantastic innovation providing a sustainable solution for energy storage. The hemp bast fiber comes from the bio-waste of the plant. Therefore, the technology is sustainable and environmentally sound. The convenience in accessing and cultivating the hemp plant ease the manufacture of products from it.
Why the Hemp Batteries Could Be the Future of Energy Storage
Hemp batteries have a couple of benefits. The bast fiber is natural, durable, and multipurpose, with many uses, from clothing to animal bedding. Utilizing it in energy storage is a solution to a society focusing on sustainability. The raw material is degradable after use and thus won’t pile the landmass for years.
The energy cells are rechargeable and have massive storage capacity. A lot of research is currently underway as scientists seek to dig deeper into the potential benefits. Researchers have found that fiber has a higher energy density. Although lithium is used to lead in the world of energy cells, hemp batteries are taking over.
Hemp Nano-carbon layers
You obtain the nano-carbon layers by first heating hemp at 176°C for 24 hours. The leftover also undergoes another heating of 700-800°C for a short time. There are three advantages to the Nano layers.
- Extreme heat resistance
- Cheap production process
- Higher energy density compared to conventional carbon cells.
The layers can have up to 12 watts per kilogram, meaning they are 2-3 times superior to the ordinary batteries. Besides, it is possible to recharge the hemp batteries up to 100,000 times in a short time.
Difference between Hemp and Lithium Batteries
Just like hempcrete is transforming the construction industry, hemp batteries will take over energy storage in years to come. There was research to compare the performance of the two cell types. A study focusing on the strength of the energy cells to a similar device confirmed that hemp batteries have a significantly better performance than lithium cells. The environmental sound and alternative innovations are likely to oust Tesla, which is the best in sustainable energy at the moment.
There is a possibility that the innovation could work for anything from standard household devices to electric vehicles.
One notable difference between lithium and hemp cells is in the dispensation of energy. Hemp batteries expend their power faster than lithium types. However, they are suitable for the temporary storage of energy that you need to draw quickly. There is a need for more refinements if they are to replace lithium batteries entirely, even as the current research promises a sustainable future.