The hemp plant never ceases to amaze me. It’s so versatile. Hemp can be used to make medicine, clothes, paper, and many other things. One thing that hemp can apparently also be used for, which is very cool and I didn’t know about, is to make better super-batteries. Per NBC:
Industrial hemp, the non-psychoactive cousin of marijuana, can play a role in manufacturing super-powerful supercapacitors for energy storage at a cost that’s far cheaper than graphene, researchers report. The hemp-based technology took center stage Tuesday at the American Chemical Society’s national meeting in San Francisco. A team led by David Mitlin, an engineering professor at Clarkson University, heated up hemp fibers to create carbon nanosheets that can be used as electrodes for supercapacitors. Compared with graphene, the hemp-derived carbon is “a little bit better, but it’s 1,000 times cheaper,” Mitlin told NBC News.
How cool is that!? Not only does hemp make better batteries, it’s far cheaper. While the article didn’t specifically state it, I’d imagine that the hemp used for the process is much safer and easier to dispose of than what is currently being used. Is there anything that hemp can’t do?
It sounds like the engineer behind the research has started a company trying to bring this technology to the marketplace. He is looking for partners, and I’d imagine he won’t have a hard time finding any. What he will have a hard time with, by his own admission, is getting around hemp laws which make it hard, if not impossible, to get the raw product he needs to make the super batteries. Reform hemp laws, allow this guy to make super batteries, and the world will be a much better place as a result. This is a no-brainer.