Will Hemp Composites Supercede Graphene as Supercapacitors?

By Harold at Return of Hemp

So now, in addition to having been used for possibly thousands of years for textiles, ropes, canvas, paper and oil, Cannabis Sattiva (better known as Hemp) is revealing not only its more modern industrial applications (building materials, automobile body and parts, bio diesel fuel, plastics for bags, skate and surfboards), for nutrition and medicine as well, but also as the most cost effective and efficient replacement for the material graphene.

Why is this important for us in 2018?

There appear to be two reasons here: One is an immediate, technical concern, and the other holds a deeper moral and spiritual lesson.

Long Before Rockefeller, Edison, Ford and Tesla, There Was Hemp

It would be safe to assume that the majority of people on this planet would prefer a cleaner and safer means of mechanized travel than the current petroleum and petrochemical dominated paradigm.

As it turns out, the electric car was being developed at the same time as when Henry Ford was introducing his principles of semi automated, mass production assembly lines, and at the same time as the large energy cartels were establishing themselves in the USA.

Today, after a century of war and ecological ravages, there is a vigorous and renewed interest in developing the electric car. Similarly, thanks to the wonders of the world wide web and access to some of the work of Nicola Tesla., a renewed interest in some of his contributions.

However, what has prevented the electric car (and brands like the appropriately named Tesla) from generalized use?

Unfortunately, the batteries have been expensive to produce and maintain. Recent breakthroughs in nanotechnology, namely the material graphene (used for supercapacitors) seemed to hold the key to making the batteries more efficient. The problem with graphene is that it costs roughly two thousand dollars a gram to produce.

Ouch!

As fortune would have it, there seems to be a simultaneous renewed and clearer familiarity with the awesome ‘Plant from the Garden of Eden,’ Hemp, and it’s tens of thousands of vital services. Specifically, hemp, hemp composites and hemp based materials can clothe us, feed us, shelter us, protect us, help us communicate, cure us, and now we discover that it can help move us (literally and figuratively speaking!).

According to Clarkson University Professor David Mitlin (also founder of Mitlin Group), and according to groups like asme.org and the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT), the bast fibers from hemp can be processed to forge a new nano material, to functionally replace graphene, at the cost of five hundred dollars a ton!

All Hail The Hemp

The ‘bast fiber’ is the very hard part of the hemp stalk, at the lowest extremity, which is generally considered waste.

Apparently, the bast can be pressure cooked at 180 degrees fahrenheit for twenty four hours. Next, the carbonized material is treated with potassium hydroxide, and heated to temperatures as high as eight hundred degrees Fahrenheit, forming uniquely structured nano sheets. This material can discharge 49 kW of power per Kg, nearly triple what standard, commercial electrodes supply (seventeen kW per Kg).

A New Diet For The World Economy: More Hemp Fiber!

(NB: While many of this articles predicates are North American, the issue of industrial hemp and hemp based products and hemp composites is a matter of principles of nature, and not germane to solely North America)

Does the reader get enthusiastic about these implications? It seems to say something about our relationship as ‘small creators’ to the bounty of nature, does it not? Rather than feel oppressed and helpless before the apparent political invulnerability of the current paradigm, just keep in mind that through all documented history, every closed, oppressive system has always collapsed. Why? By suppressing the true nature of human beings, and by failing to continuously refine and redefine what a resource is, these systems only supply themselves by conquest, acquisition and cannibalization, which invariably meets a physical limit.

George Washington and Henry Ford were both hemp farmers, and each took their own roles in history to provide models of freedom, progress and prosperity (their limitations notwithstanding).

As human civilization seeks solutions to avoid the Four Horsemen, and to secure a happier and healthier future, the role of hemp and hemp composites seems to be clear and inevitable.

As Thomas Jefferson said: Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.

His words were statements of principle, not limited to Eighteenth Century America.

The more the human mind studies the Book of Nature, the better it understands its own nature.

The foregoing affirms the power and beauty of the imminent Return of Hemp.