There’s a lot of exciting work being done in battery technology…yet your future electronic devices may end up being powered by a supercapacitor instead if research into this area pays off. Environmentally, it’s pretty awesome…graphene is of course carbon, which is plentiful and non-toxic (potentially, you could even throw a used graphene supercapacitor into your compost bin!). These supercapacitors can store a lot of energy and be recharged extremely quickly (like 100-1000 times faster than a battery). It’ll be interesting to see which wins out here…advanced battery technologies, or supercapcitors? Stay tuned to Peak Geek for all the latest on that, and in the meantime, check out the video below describing these graphene supercapacitors (I love that word, especially as they didn’t mention ‘nano’ anything).
While there are many methods of converting heat energy into electrical energy, they’re typically inefficient (thermoelectric) or need to be done at a larger scale (steam turbines). Researchers at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University are showing promising results with a different approach. You see, the atoms in a liquid are in constant motion. They found that when copper ions collided with a strip of graphene immersed in a solution, the collision dislocated an electron out of the graphene, and it then traveled through the graphene strip, essentially replicating the function of a battery and illuminating an LED as a result.
As with any science, further tests are needed to verify the reaction and rule out secondary effects being responsible (such as chemical reactions). If validated, though, this has enormous potential, for it would enable the generation of electrical energy from any heat source (something planet has no shortage of). It’ll be interesting to see if this pans out.
Read more here.