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Hemp fibres 'better than graphene'

BBC News Hemp fibres better than graphene


"You can do really interesting things with bio-waste. We've pretty much figured out the secret sauce of it," said Dr Mitlin.

The trick is to tailor the right plant fibre to the right electrical device - according to their organic structure.

"With banana peels, you can turn them into a dense block of carbon - we call it pseudo-graphite - and that's great for sodium ion batteries," he explained.

"But if you look at hemp fibre its structure is the opposite - it makes sheets with high surface area - and that's very conducive to supercapacitors."

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Hemp as in marijuana?!

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.

They presented their work at the American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco.

"People ask me: why hemp? I say, why not?" said Dr David Mitlin of Clarkson University, New York, who describes his device in the journal ACS Nano.

"We're making graphene-like materials for a thousandth of the price - and we're doing it with waste.

"The hemp we use is perfectly legal to grow. It has no THC in it at all - so there's no overlap with any recreational activities."

Good answer: "People ask me: why hemp? I say, why not?"

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