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New Innovations & Discoveries are Expanding the Applications of Graphene Batteries

The graphene battery market has witnesses a steady growth in the last decade.

The graphene battery market has witnesses a steady growth in the last decade. Graphene is largely used to manufacture supercapacitors and graphene batteries due to its high surface area. Graphene batteries find applications in several industries including, automotive, electronics, aerospace, and defense. The increase in demand for graphene electrodes hold a promising future for graphene batteries. Several market players are collaborating with each other to develop advanced graphene batteries for various industrial applications. A recent market study published by Allied Market Research offers useful insights related to the graphene battery market such as the market share, size and growth. It also highlights the current trends, opportunities and the major challenges of the industry.

Graphene Electrode in Solar Power

A group of scientists have recently developed a graphene based electrode that has the potential to boost the capacity of the current solar storage technologies by 3,000 percent. The research team from the RMIT University in Australia came together to develop the innovative prototype. The new prototype could potentially tackle the problem associated with energy storage in solar power. Energy storage is one of the biggest drawbacks of the solar power technology. The researchers threw light on the topic and explained how the new prototype will open pathways towards the development of thin and flexible all-in-one solar capture and storage. This means that self-powering smart phones, cars, buildings and laptops can soon be a reality. The newly developed electrode is designed to work with supercapacitors that will help to charge and discharge a battery faster than the traditional batteries. The supercapacitors are combined with solar, but its application as storage solution is hindered due to its limited capacity.

Professor Min Gu, RMIT, says that the design is the most efficient way for filling up a space via minute self-repeating patterns that are called “fractals”. He further added, “Our electrode is based on these fractal shapes – which are self-replicating, like the mini structures within snowflakes – and we have used this naturally-efficient design to improve solar energy storage at a nano level.” Further, Gu said that the immediate application includes combining the graphene electrode with supercapacitors to increase the storage capacity by almost 30 times more than the capacity limits that exist in the current scenario. The supercapacitors with capacity boost offer reliability in the long run and quick burst of energy when solar energy is used on a cloudy day. The fractal-enabled graphene electrodes can hold the stored charge for a longer duration with minimum leakage. The potential applications of the new prototypes are endless as it is based on the flexible thin film technology. One of the most exciting possibility is utilizing the electrode with the solar cell to offer chip energy harvesting and a storage solution.

Shortcomings in Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Addressed

It is known to all that majority of the portable devices such smartphones, laptops, tablets and fitness trackers are powered by lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery. However, lithium-ion batteries are slowly close to reaching their maximum capacity. Further, there have been cases about phone batteries exploding that has created a strong impact on users. Thus, the need to develop efficient and safe batteries was identified. Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries are tipped to offer solutions to the problems mentioned earlier. Li-S batteries not only have a higher capacity than Li-ions, they are cheap and light to manufacture as well. However, these types of batteries suffer from a poor cycling stability. In other words, after a few charge and discharge cycles, the electrodes break down and reduce the cell capacity. This makes Li-S unstable.

The research team at the Yale University have found a potential solution to the problems associated with Li-S batteries. According to the research team, an ultra-thin protective coating could potentially increase the life and improve the efficiency of Li-S batteries. The team simulated how different materials react to the molecules in the cathode to identify the best fit. The combination of graphene and dendrimer caught the attention of the researchers. The strength of graphene oxide and the ability of the dendrimer molecule to confide lithium polysulfide’s was identified as the winning combination. Professor Hailiang Wong, lead authors of the study explained that the newly developed film is thin and very light. Owing to these properties, the overall size and weight of the battery is not affected. Further, the energy and power density of the device won’t be compromised. Wong explained that the new material is easy to prepare with materials that are commercially available in the market making it cheap and easy to scale up. The research team has tackled the initial hurdles and is now focusing on ways to enhance the performance of Li-S batteries.

The graphene battery market is staring at a bright future owing to the advantages associated to graphene batteries including, quick charging capacity, increase in charge cycles, effectiveness at high temperatures and its durability. The growth in the prospective applications of graphene batteries combined with the increase in demand from the automotive industry will boost the prospects of graphene batteries in the future. The adoption of graphene batteries is likely to increase in the Asia-Pacific region particularly in China due to increase in the defense budget, growth in sales of electric vehicles and the growing adoption of non-conventional sources of energy.

Author Name: Karandeep

Professional Bio: Karandeep is a content writer at Allied Analytics LLP. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management. He has an active interest in the beauty and cosmetic industry. Karandeep reads, researches, and writes actively on a diverse range of topics including current beauty trends.

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