A group of researchers at Nagpur-based Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology have developed a new technique which promises to help produce high-value graphene from discarded dry cells batteries.
Graphene, a form of carbon, is a transparent and flexible conductor with a range of applications including in making solar cells, light-emitting diodes, touch panels and smart windows. Graphene supercapacitors serve as energy storage devices with a capacity for faster charging and longer lifespan than traditional electrolytic batteries. Graphene consists of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. It is the strongest material to be ever tested, conducts heat and electricity efficiently.
Since graphene is made out of graphite, its production is both expensive and has a significant environmental impact. The new technique helps both reduce the cost and preserve the environment.
Graphene has been touted in the global electronics industry as a “miracle material” given its strength, electrical conductivity and elasticity, and has been seen as an alternative to lithium-ion batteries since its discovery in 2004. It is a form of carbon that can be used to develop smaller, slimmer batteries but with higher capacity.
Graphene is a carbon material that is one atom thick. Its thin composition and high conductivity mean it is used in applications ranging from miniaturised electronics to biomedical devices. These properties also enable thinner wire connections; providing extensive benefits for computers, solar panels, batteries, sensors and other devices.
Graphene is widely used in making solar cells, light-emitting diodes, touch panels and smart windows. Graphene supercapacitors serve as energy storage devices with a capacity for faster charging and a longer lifespan than traditional electrolytic batteries.
Other potential applications of graphene include water filtration and purification, renewable energy, sensors, personalised healthcare and medicine, to name a few.