HEMP ENERGY STORAGE

Hemp Supercapacitors

A battery can hold a lot of energy, but it takes a long time to charge it. A capacitor can be charged very quickly, but doesn’t hold a comparable amount of energy.

A graphene supercapacitor is the best of both: it takes just seconds to charge, yet stores a lot of energy. Imagine being able to charge your spent laptop or phone battery in 30 seconds, and your electric car in a few minutes. Also, unlike batteries, Graphene supercapacitors are non-toxic.

The Nobel Prize was awarded to the inventors of Graphene in 2010. Wikipedia defines Graphene as a “substance composed of pure carbon, with atoms arranged in a regular hexagonal pattern similar to graphite, but in a one-atom thick sheet. It is very light, with a 1-square-meter sheet weighing only 0.77 milligrams.”


HEMP UMASS RESOURCES

MASSACHUSETTS DOER ENERGY STORAGE INITIATIVE (ESI)
UMASS INNOVATION INSTITUTE
UMASS CLEAN ENERGY EXTENSION
UMASS CLEAN ENERGY EXTENSION – Energy Storage Options and Integration with Offshore Wind in Massachusetts
CHC ECE Poster Graphene Power Pack JLaSalle 2016
CHC ECE Thesis Graphene Power Pack JLaSalle 2016


HEMP ENERGY STORAGE IN THE NEWS

10/31/17 – University of Louisville researchers harvest hemp crop on campus

There are two main research plans for this crop: First, Marsh said, is to see if the hemp has the proper carbon quality to power a special type of battery.

10/14/14 – Hemp Is on its Way to Your Car Battery and Many Things You Haven’t Yet Imagined

Supercapacitors are next-generation battery storage components – the kind of technology that’s going to allow a solar-powered ranch like mine to charge a week’s worth of energy from an hour of sunlight. Seems the ridged shape of hemp, when reduced to nano-sized carbon atom sheets (called graphene), causes it to outperform previously leading modes of experimental (and, by the way, environmentally unfriendly) energy storage at, according to a paper delivered at the 2014 meeting of the American Chemical Society, 1/1000th of the cost. Just that.

Last week, on a suspiciously hot late September morning, I was standing in the middle of a two-acre hemp plot in Sterling, Colorado, absentmindedly nibbling ripe, Omega-balanced seeds right off the flower, while conducting an interview. I was surrounded by hemp plants taller than I. Every now and then a piercing train whistle from Warren Buffet’s BNSF nearby freight line interrupted the bee chatter.

Bill Billings, John Deere ball cap-wearing president of the Colorado Hemp Project that had commissioned this field from 67-year-old local farmer Jim Brammer, was answering my question about how the fiber side of this harvest (from a Chinese cultivar) was going to be used.

“Supercapacitors,” he said. He said it off-handedly. What struck me was the absence of braggadocio. It was like he was suggesting the crop was going to be used for livestock bedding (a profitable, if longstanding fiber app for hemp in Europe and, starting in 2015, the Thoroughbred market in Kentucky).

Supercapacitors are next-generation battery storage components – the kind of technology that’s going to allow a solar-powered ranch like mine to charge a week’s worth of energy from an hour of sunlight. Seems the ridged shape of hemp, when reduced to nano-sized carbon atom sheets (called graphene), causes it to outperform previously leading modes of experimental (and, by the way, environmentally unfriendly) energy storage at, according to a paper delivered at the 2014 meeting of the American Chemical Society, 1/1000th of the cost. Just that.

Billings and the deciders at the Boulder-area tech company with which the Colorado Hemp Project is partnering for the Sterling harvest asked me to keep the specifics out of this piece because the deal’s still being finalized. But the buyer is an established player in the nano arena and its CEO told me via email, “We’re interested in hemp because we believe hemp will change the way energy is created, charged, and stored.”

08/13/14 – A Battery Made Of Hemp? Plant-Based Supercapacitor Is ‘Better Than Graphene,’ Study Finds

To create a hemp supercapacitor, researchers essentially cooked hemp bark in a device similar to a pressure cooker — a process called “hydrothermal carbonization” — then dissolved some of the plant material that remained, according to the study published in May in the journal ACS Nano.

Environmentalists have long championed the eco-friendly virtues of hemp, but more recently engineers have discovered the plant’s energy-saving properties. Researchers in the U.S. have developed a super-strong, super-fast, hemp-based battery called a supercapacitor that could charge things like electric cars and power tools and is a cheaper alternative to conventional graphene supercapacitors, researchers say.

“Our device’s electrochemical performance is on par with or better than graphene-based devices,” David Mitlin, an engineering professor at Clarkson University in New York, said in a statement. “The key advantage is that our electrodes are made from biowaste using a simple process, and therefore, are much cheaper than graphene.”

Hemp “can’t do all the things graphene can,” Mitlin admits. “But for energy storage, it works just as well.”

08/13/14 – Hemp fibres ‘better than graphene’

The waste fibres from hemp crops can be transformed into high-performance energy storage devices, scientists say.  They “cooked” cannabis bark into carbon nanosheets and built supercapacitors “on a par with or better than graphene” – the industry gold standard. Electric cars and power tools could harness this hemp technology, the US researchers say.

08/12/14 – Could hemp nanosheets topple graphene for making the ideal supercapacitor?

Mitlin’s team built their supercapacitors using the hemp-derived carbons as electrodes and an ionic liquid as the electrolyte. Fully assembled, the devices performed far better than commercial supercapacitors in both energy density and the range of temperatures over which they can work.

05/15/13 – Energy-Storing Nanomaterial Made From Hemp

Graphene might one day be used in batteries, solar cells, transparent electrodes, and a host of other electronic gadgets. But graphene is still quite expensive to make. Now researchers at the University of Alberta have demonstrated a low-cost process for turning agricultural waste into graphene like nanomaterials for use in energy storage electronics

05/15/13 – A nanotechnology use for hemp

Standard capacitors that regulate flow or supply quick bursts of power can be discharged and recharged hundreds of thousands of times. Electric double-layer capacitors – generally known as super- or ultracapacitors – are hybrids that hold hundreds of times more energy than a standard capacitor, like a battery, while retaining their fast charge/discharge capabilities. These supercapacitors are emerging as a key enabling storage technology for use in fuel-efficient transport as well as in renewable energy. Supercapacitors offer a low-cost alternative source of energy to replace rechargeable batteries for various applications, such as power tools, mobile electronics, and electric vehicles.

02/28/13 – Professor and graduate student develop battery-like product

Electric cars are often expensive, and may not always give a good return for consumers because the technology used to power the cars is costly and not as efficient in terms of mileage, said Sanjog Misra, professor of marketing at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. If the technology in electric cars improved, and people could plug in their cars and charge them up for miles in a few minutes – using the graphene-based supercapacitors – then there could be a significant impact on the electric-car market.

Unlike the average battery, which is made of lithium, a graphene-based supercapacitor can be charged and recharged one million times, Kaner said. It charges quickly, and is inexpensive and easy to manufacture, he added.

Graphene is the thinnest, strongest material on Earth, with a high-rate of electron transfer – properties ideal for a superbattery. The graphene-based supercapacitor charges 100,000 times faster than regular batteries and is biodegradable.

To produce graphene, the researchers coat a layer of graphite oxide, a compound containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, on a disc and allow it to dry. Then they place the disc in a DVD label-burning drive from the company LightScribe, software that etches labels onto CDs and DVDs directly. When the laser in the drive hits graphite oxide, the compound is converted to graphene, which can be cut to emulate the shape of a battery-like coin cell used in watches.

10/06/10 – Hemp Produces Viable Biodiesel, UConn Study Finds

Researchers at UConn have found that the fiber crop Cannabis sativa, known as industrial hemp, has properties that make it viable and even attractive as a raw material, or feedstock, for producing biodiesel – sustainable diesel fuel made from renewable plant sources.

“If someone is already growing hemp,” he says, “they might be able to produce enough fuel to power their whole farm with the oil from the seeds they produce.”

The hemp biodiesel showed a high efficiency of conversion – 97 percent of the hemp oil was converted to biodiesel – and it passed all the laboratory’s tests, even showing properties that suggest it could be used at lower temperatures than any biodiesel currently on the market.