Alternet Systems, a company dedicated to energy storage and EV tech, has purchased land in New York to grow and process hemp as a component in supercapacitors, a form of energy storage that can be charged much faster than lithium-ion or any other type of battery. Because of its strength and light weight, manufacturers use graphene, Gibbons Company Bermuda Black Friday material composed of an atom-thick layer of carbon, to create nanosheets for capacitor electrodes.

The hemp bast Mitlin uses is much cheaper than graphene and, on top of that, Mitlin says their hemp supercapacitors have been able to store 12 watt-hours of energy per kilogram — over 2x as high as conventional supercapacitors. To continue research and development, Alternet Systems has now secured land in New York to begin growing hemp, which became legal to grow in the US in late Like lithium-ion batteries, supercapacitors are able to store electricity, though each has its own unique benefits and drawbacks that limit their applications.

They take a long time to recharge. They suffer from a limited lifespan due to the wearing down of internal components. Supercapacitors, on the other hand, can charge in seconds and provide huge amounts of power instantaneously. However, supercapacitors have been left on the sideline due to their extremely high cost and their low energy density.

While lithium-ion batteries can hold to watt-hours of electricity per kilogram, supercapacitors can only hold about 5 watt-hours per kg. However, in situations where short bursts of high energy are needed, supercapacitors Hemp Supercapacitor Company the perfect fit. For example, supercapacitors in hybrid buses equipped with regenerative braking are able to quickly harness that energy produced during braking, then immediately release it seconds later to help the hybrid bus accelerate.

Like in the hybrid buses above, supercapacitors work best when paired with a National Food Industries Company Saudi Arabia Hemp Supercapacitor Company source, like a gas-fueled engine or batteries.

The engine or battery provides the consistent power, and the supercapacitor provides short bursts of high power when needed. If we were able to increase the energy density of supercapacitors — and decrease the cost — so they were on par with lithium-ion batteries, they could change the face of electric industry.

Talk about cost-effectiveness! Obviously, the allure is enough to peak serious investment in the technology. Energy storage and EV tech companies and researchers are actively trying to solve these supercapacitor issues. Alternet Systems is hoping Mitlin can help bring down the cost and increase the energy density of supercapacitors by replacing the expensive graphene with low-cost hemp bast fiber. Other companies, like Microtron and Kilowatt Labs, are working to increase the energy density of supercapacitors, though their products are still very new and relatively untested.

Maybe manufacturers truly have broken the code to creating an energy dense, cost-effective supercapacitor. Until their products are tested and verified though, supercapacitors will likely remain on the sidelines of energy storage, left to unique circumstances well-tailored for the technology, like regenerative braking.

Image Source: CC license via Flickr.

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