Graphene electrodes promise 5x energy storage boost for ultracapacitors


. We hear of your achievements so often, but feel your benefits in our everyday lives so infrequently. We'd be remiss if we didn't point out how unhealthy of a relationship this is, but hopefully Bor Jang and co. have a mind to mend it all. Bor, along with a number of colleagues at Nanotek Instruments, have just uncovered a graphene advancement that could put conventional Li-ion cells in a world of hurt. Of course, we've been hearing about so-called "battery breakthroughs" for the better part of our lives, but few have involved progress with ultracapacitors. For those unaware, ultracapacitors are energy storage devices that can "absorb and release charge in minutes," and they're pegged as cheaper / safer alternatives to batteries for electric vehicles. The only problem? Mainstream versions today hold just five percent of the energy held by Li-ion batteries. Nanotek's crew has figured out that the use of graphene electrodes "could lead to ultracapacitors with more than five times the energy density of commercial devices," but as these things always go, no one's coming close to producing a hard release date. We'll just assume it's undergoing lab tests for now, and in 2022 we can all weep at what could've been. Prove us wrong, whiz kids.