Hemp-based electrodes show promise

A ball of hemp twine, one of the plant's many uses. Photo by Emilian Robert Vicol; Flickr
A ball of hemp twine. Photo by Emilian Robert Vicol; Flickr

According to new research recently presented at the American Chemical Society’s national meeting, hemp may be able to increase the amount of energy that can be stored in supercapacitors.

Supercapacitors store energy, similar to the batteries that power many electronic devices. Unlike batteries that may take hours to transfer their energy, supercapacitors reduce this time to mere seconds. However, they can only store a fraction of the energy that batteries are able to.

Researchers are trying to solve this problem by building electrodes out of different materials. Graphene has been used in the past, but it is expensive; the researchers found that hemp bast, a fiber taken from the plant’s inner bark, is a much cheaper alternative. They heated the hemp fibers to rearrange the carbon atoms, resulting in 2D nanosheets that were used to construct electrodes. The final product was highly successful, performing “far better than commercial supercapacitors.”

Hemp, a variety of the Cannabis plant, is used in a wide variety of products, including food, paper, cloth, and oil.

Jerry Schnoor speaks at “Fostering Science at EPA” hearing

Jerry Schnoor

On February 3rd, CGRER co-director Jerry Schnoor spoke at the Energy and Environment Subcommittee Hearing “Fostering Science at EPA: Perspectives on Common Sense Reform”. The hearing discussed how the EPA can best achieve quality scientific research.

Schnoor’s testimony focused on the EPA’s successes, and suggestions for how the agency can improve.

The full testimony is available here.

A video of the entire hearing is available here.

Read an article from the American Chemical Society about some of the aggressive questing Schnoor faced during the hearing here.