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Before you start believing that hemp batteries are a real thing and go tell everyone just cause of the title, it’s important to inform you, that as of the release of this article there is no such thing as a hemp battery. But we may be heading that way, or at least the research is. With the rise of more and more complex electronics that require more power, coupled with the rise in popularity of electric vehicles, research in batteries that are better is more important than ever before.
In late 2016 Robert Murray Smith released a video on YouTube stating that hemp batteries perform eight times better than lithium-ion. Over the years Smith has gotten a large following on YouTube, however the results of the research do not definitely prove that hemp makes better batteries than lithium-ion. Don’t confuse performance as the only factor to look out for. Whats the point of owning a Ferrari if you empty the tank before you reach the gas station?
The results of his test did not surprise the scientific community as in 2014 scientists in the US found that waste fibres called shiv from hemp crops can be transformed into an ultra fast super-capacitor that was considered better than graphene. This research was headed by Dr. David Milton, who along with his team took the hemp waste and created carbon nano sheets by hydrothermal synthesis. His teams research showed that hemp by products could be used to build a super-capacitor that was able to store 12 watt-hours of energy per kilogram which is over two times as high as conventional super-capacitors.
But what does this all mean? Will we have electronics that use hemp as a source of power? Maybe. The research is definitely promising. And if we really are heading in that direction then we must ask ourselves the question – What can’t hemp do?!