When we think about storing energy, our focus is on Lithium batteries and other similar devices. However, there are many ways to store energy, and it all comes down to finding the right ones. The waste fibers from hemp crops can be processed and become high-performance energy storage devices. They can retain much energy to the point where you could transform these into energy sources for power tools or even electric cars.
The hemp used for batteries doesn’t have THC; therefore, there is no connection with psychoactive effects or anything similar. The hemp batteries would be supercapacitors, and the idea here is that they would offer immediate discharge for their load. That makes a huge difference, especially in the case of electric cars or any other high tier consumers like that.
Which is the better option?
According to multiple tests, it seems that hemp-based batteries have the potential to store more energy and that alone can be incredibly helpful. The power of a hemp cell was 31 volts-amperes during a test, while the Lithium batteries had only 4 volts-amperes. So there’s a significant amount of energy the hemp batteries can hold.
The way scientists created hemp batteries was via cooking the hemp first, and then turn it into carbon nanosheets. Next, the nanosheets were then used to create supercapacitors. They are much better and more reliable than the graphene-based ones, which exactly why these batteries are so powerful.
Interestingly, the hemp had been targeted with a 50 million GBP investment by George Osborn, the UK chancellor. Of course, hemp might not be the only great material to use for batteries. Dr. Mitlin, an Engineering Professor, has a research group at the University of Alberta, and they had success turning banana peels into batteries. With the right ideas, the truth is that numerous products can be utilized as an energy source, and then you can turn them into batteries to store that energy for the long term.
At the power density of 20 kW/kg and temperatures ranging from 20°C to 60°C or 100°C, you’re getting an energy density of 19 Wh/kg, 34 Wh/kg, or even 40 Wh/kg, which is on par, if not better than commercial graphene batteries!
Are hemp batteries more expensive?
One of the best things about hemp batteries is that they are very inexpensive. They help cut costs when it comes to energy storage. Plus, it’s a much better way for us to protect the environment and keep it safe. We need to do that as quickly as possible, and finding a replacement for lithium batteries is an excellent idea.
One thing is sure, with help from hemp batteries, it will be easier for us to finally protect the environment and find a more efficient energy storage system. The possibilities are limitless, and that’s what makes this idea of using hemp for batteries so incredible in the first place.
We need to do everything to push the boundaries and improve the way we treat our environment. Finding replacements to those things that usually generate waste might not seem like a lot, but it will make a huge difference. Hemp batteries are a fantastic start, and we do hope these will become the norm sooner rather than later.