A Feb. 21, 2013 article in Rewire reports on a breakthrough in power storage that hold the promise to change the world. Researchers at UCLA have found a way to create what is in effect a super capacitor that can be charged quickly and will hold more electricity than standard batteries. What’s more, it is made with Graphene, a simply carbon polymer that, unlike batteries that have toxic metals in them, is environmentally benign and is not only biodegradable but compostable.
The researchers expect that the manufacturing process for the Graphene super capacitor can be refined for mass production. The real world applications of an energy storage device that can be charged quickly and can hold as much if not more electricity as batteries is mind blowing.
For instance, electronic devices such as cell phones and tablet computers can be charged in seconds and not for hours and would hold a charge for longer than devices with standard batteries. This will diminish those annoying instances when one’s device suddenly goes dead for lack of energy.
Eventually the technology can be scaled up for electric cars or storage devices for wind turbines and solar collectors. Currently it takes hours to charge up an electric car. Such vehicles would become more viable if one can “refuel” them as quickly as one can a gasoline powered car.
This is all predicated on the notion that the technology lives up to its promise and doesn’t have a flaw, as yet uncovered, that will undermine it. In the meantime the UCLA researchers are looking for an industrial partner to build their super capacitor units on an industrial scale.