Skip to comments.Video: The battery that might change everything
Posted on 02/23/2013 12:51:19 PM PST by Para-Ord.45
Some of the great scientific breakthroughs of the last century came about entirely by accident. Many of you are probably familiar with the origins of the Post It Note, and how it was invented as a result of a failure when attempting to create a super strong adhesive. Well, there may be another such story taking place in the present day. Scientists working with carbon compounds developed Graphene, a safe substance with a lot of structural strength for very little mass and weight. And then some wise guy discovered that it had another use.
The recap: Graphene, a very simple carbon polymer, can be used as the basic component of a supercapacitor an electrical power storage device that charges far more rapidly than chemical batteries. Unlike other supercapacitors, though, graphenes structure also offers a high energy density, it can hold a lot of electrons, meaning that it could conceivably rival or outperform batteries in the amount of charge it can hold. Kaner Lab researcher Maher El-Kady found a way to create sheets of graphene a single carbon atom thick by covering a plastic surface with graphite oxide solution and bombarding it with precisely controlled laser light. That last sentence may sound pretty complicated, but the articles author provides a translation for the layman.
He painted a DVD with a liquid carbon solution and stuck it into a standard-issue DVD burner. The result was a shockingly thin supercapacitor which could store up a large amount of electrical energy in no time flat. The potential for this sort of discovery should be obvious. Unlike heavy metal batteries, the carbon compound is biodegradable and cheap to manufacture. And a battery made of layers of this material could charge your cell phone for a full days use in wait for it two seconds. A ramped up version could charge an electric car in a minute or two. (No word on how likely it will be to catch on fire, but bonus points if it doesnt.)
Heres the video I mentioned. Its not long and explains the process better than I ever could. I have to say, this is pretty exciting stuff if it comes to fruition.
Made of evil CARBON !
Did you ever short a high capacity cap in the dark?
It makes a spark, doesn’t it?
Was any sulfuric acid introduced during the process. That sulfuric acid can be nasty stuff. Have not gone to take a look and is why am asking.
I did once it blowed up really good (of course the voluminous amounts of toxic vapors were not really expected...)
Who doesn't like high energy density devices?
Woo hoo!! Now we’re cooking with gas!! er, Super ^carbon^ Capacitors!!
Short out a charged capacitor and you get a nice explosion. The larger the cap, the bigger the explosion.
That much capacity to absorb and hold a charge over a short period of time, also indicates that there would be the capacity to DISCHARGE that electron load just as quickly as it could be put in.
And a rapid discharge of electricity always involves heat, so how is the discharge to be throttled back to useful levels so the wiring does not burst into spitting arcs and open flame? (I know, I know, that is why Doc Brown invented the Flux Capacitor, which makes time travel possible.)
We may have fusion energy before that problem is solved.
I believe it is being used as thermal compound now as well.
Yeah, I know. But I remember reading in my youth about the great inventors and inventions. And the doubters who said that steam would never catch on. And that gas lighting in a home would never work. Would burn your house down. And that no one would want dangerous electricity into their homes. And who would ever ride around on a horseless carriage. And I can even remember myself saying back in the seventies, these damn toy computers (PCs) will never work in a business environment!
The next GREAT battery invention for electric cars is ALWAYS just around the corner. The problem is that these new batteries never actually make it “around the corner” because the REAL WORLD is vicious to batteries, much more so than it is to gasoline. Temperatures from -40 to 120F have to be accommodated, running at varying loads, especially climbing steep hills slowly in hot weather (which often overheats gas cars too), and the demand that they charge fast, very fast.
Ohm’s law applies regardless of the power source. At any given voltage, the load will draw the same current whether it’s from a capacitor, a battery or the power grid. The main problem with capacitors is that they pack a huge wallop when they’re shorted out.
Think of a neighborhood transformer exploding.
Ask the FBI to turn over the Tesla Files taken upon his death!
Given that it was made with GO (graphene oxide), most likely. That's not the safest chemistry.
Indeed. And we might add that carbon and polycarbinate are both wonderful sources for making CO2 in the presence of high temperatures and air.
The miraculous invention of the month that will save the world. Kinda late for February, but it made it! (Never to be heard from again, of course.)