As the hunt for power and sustainable ways to power our cars continues, there are a number of players that have dominated the field. Lithium has led the pack in terms of power output and its technology is the powerhouse behind the shift towards electric cars. However, as people look to add hemp to everything, there is now promising research that batteries made from hemp might be the breakthrough we have been waiting for.
A recent test of hemp batteries showed that they performed better than either lithium batteries or even current graphene technologies. Observing a Volts by Amps curve of the products side by side showed that the hemp cell was producing 31 times more power than the lithium cell.
Research into this started in 2014 when a group of researchers discovered that the bast fibers of hemp could be easily converted into carbon sheets.
“We’re making graphene-like materials for a thousandth of the price – and we’re doing it with waste. The hemp we use is perfectly legal to grow. It has no THC in it at all – so there’s no overlap with any recreational activities,” said Dr. David Mitlin from Clarkson University.
Hydrothermal synthesis is the name of the process. By using this process, we are now able to convert waste from hemp into one of the most useful materials possible. So not only will hemp weave its way into our textiles tinctures, but our tech as well.
“With banana peels, you can turn them into a dense block of carbon – we call it pseudo-graphite – and that’s great for sodium-ion batteries,” Mitlin explained. “But if you look at hemp fibre its structure is the opposite – it makes sheets with high surface area – and that’s very conducive to supercapacitors.”