We’ve heard about something that claims to change the battery world during the last couple of years. Especially after the rumors that Tesla will change the batteries to use this material, it has become almost insane. Yes, I am speaking Graphene Batteries here.
So, I thought it would be interesting to dive a little deeper into the thing. And we’re going to start with what graphene is.
Graphene is a one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice.
Many graphene layers packed up are graphite, which is used not only in pencils but also in Li-ion batteries as an anode.
Now graphene itself is a pretty exciting material. It is remarkably strong, up to 200 times stronger than steel. It is very lightweight, flexible, and is the most stretchable crystal known.
It is a great conductor of heat and electricity while extremely impermeable, not allowing even Helium atoms to pass through. Graphene has very high electrical current density and low resistivity, outperforming any known material. These properties make the usage of Graphene rather diverse.
It is an excellent material for batteries, transistors, computer chips, energy generation, supercapacitors, DNA sequencing, water filters, antennas, touchscreens, solar cells, and more.
Now, if we concentrate on the use of Graphene in batteries, there are several pros. It makes batteries more durable, allows them to store more energy safely, supports faster charging, and increases the batteries’ longevity.
At the same time, being a 2D material and very thin, it allows making the batteries more compact and lightweight.
Graphene is believed to solve the problem of every smartphone user: battery life. Full-on graphene batteries are yet to come in any smartphone. Still, Huawei is already using graphene cooling in their smartphones.
Xiaomi started using graphene-enhanced Li-ion batteries in their smartphones already, the first one being the Mi 10 Ultra.
Samsung has been working on its version of graphene batteries for some years now. They first talked about this in 2017 for the first time. The hope is that we will have a graphene battery Samsung smartphone in 2021.
Graphene power banks, on the other hand, are a thing already. Like the Real Graphene 5000mAh power bank priced at $60. It boasts of charging from drained to full in just 17 minutes, using a 60W charger. And the customer reviews confirm. And there are several more options available on the market.
The graphene batteries also seem to be a blessing for the electrical vehicles industry. Allowing to store more energy and less charging time, they would allow to run more mileage and ease the usage of an e-vehicle in general.
There were, and there are rumors on the web about Tesla experimenting with graphene batteries for their cars. However, they are not quite there yet. Several other companies claim to be having graphene batteries for electric vehicles, like the Estonian Skeleton Technologies.
By the end of the day, graphene is used in batteries and is evolving to cover a larger market and provide more efficiency.
From all we see, we can conclude that graphene batteries are real and becoming even more realistic. The questions when and how fast. And that only the future can show.