Among the many things that complicate technology, batteries have historically been a big, heavy, environmentally disasterous anchor around everyone’s necks. Researchers at UCLA have recently announced a breakthrough in producing graphene-based “supercapacitors” that essentially takes the best parts of a capictor and a traditional battery to form what may be as transformative as the discovery of electricity. Graphene-based batteries are envisioned to be able to charge in minutes. On top of this, graphene itself is very eco-friendly (compostable, in fact), durable and flexible, almost the exact opposite of current battery technology.
What this means for you:
I don’t know about you, but my mobile devices always seem to be on low battery at the most inconvenient moments. Even if there is a power plug nearby and you happen to have your charging cable, putting your phone/laptop/camera/tablet down in the middle of a busy day (not to mention a public place like an airport) for an hour or more is just not practical. What may be really eye-opening is if graphene battery technology could be used for electric vehicles, specifically electric cars which have been struggling against “range anxiety” in their adoption and spread. Charging stations, once envisioned as impractical (mostly because of the slow charge times) could literally operate with the same speed and convenience as a traditional gas station, paving the way for a fossil-fuel free future. Say that four times fast!
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