Nano carbon Graphene is already being produced in decidedly non-nano quantities by Ohio-based Angstron. Yet the atom-thick nano-material was discovered so recently that researchers are still in the process of discovering what to use it for.
Graphene is an extremely low density material, almost an atomic-scale chicken wire made of carbon atoms and their bonds. It has been the focus of much research because of its exceptional electrical, mechanical and optical properties. It holds great promise in renewable energies.
Among the so far underutilized advantages Graphene offers are that it is fifty times stronger than steel, and it has five times the conductivity of copper, with only one quarter of the density.
There’s lots of possible uses for material with these properties, in renewable energy, aerospace, automotive, marine, electronics, construction, medical and telecommunications. And Graphene is a cost effective yet high quality alternative to carbon nanotubes, which were once the wonder nanomaterial, but which tended to stick together in clumps so was extremely difficult to form into composites.
Because of its light weight Graphene is the ideal substitute for copper for aerospace defense against emerging weapons technologies such as electromagnetic pulse as well as lightning strike protection for the aerospace market.
Graphene holds the promise of improving battery technology for hybrid cars and EVs. Adding Graphene to lithium batteries has recently been shown to prolong lithium battery life while increasing usable charge.
Angstron has a 22,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Dayton devoted to making this stuff, and is the first company to isolate single-layer and multi-layer graphene structures and successfully produce nano graphene sheets in large quantities.
Image: Janik Meyer
Susan Kraemer writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate and GreenProphet and has been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design she brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention: solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times. Follow Susan @dotcommodity on twitter.