We are always on the lookout for products which will have better durability and which will better the properties of other products. Graphene is one such product, which has been around for so many years. However, a man has not tapped its potential properly. This product has some of the best properties and can be used extensively in several industries.
What is graphene?
For those who do not know about graphene should note that, this is a very thin material which has amazing strength. This bonded carbon atoms material can be used in a number of applications. This is mainly because of its strength to weight ratio. Here are some of the applications for which this wonderful material can be used.
What is so special about graphene?
Graphene first came into limelight way back in 2004 when scientists at the University of Manchester worked out a way to extract this atom thick material, which is two-dimensional. Graphene is found to have some of the best properties. This material is very tough and durable. It is found to be 10 times stronger than steel. It is flexible and has high conductivity. Graphene can be used in the enhancement of products.
What are some of the uses of graphene?
- Desalination of water
Several efforts have been made by man in order to make seawater apt for drinking. The atom thick graphene filter can be used in this process as it reduces the energy that is needed for the desalination process. The holes in this filter have a diameter of just 100 nanometres. This allows the water molecules to squeeze through, but the salt particles cannot pass through this filter. This filter reduces the use of energy by 20% and hence can be recommended in places where there is scarcity of electricity.
- Get solar power in rainy days
Scientists from China have developed a solar panel, which can generate electricity in rains. This solar panel makes use of graphene. A layer of graphene is put on top of the solar cells. Due to reaction with naturally occurring salts in rainwater these panels, produce energy. Currently the efficiency rte of these solar cells is less. However, once we manage to get better efficiency this can be a boon for those places where the weather conditions are not conducive for the use of traditional solar cells.
- Efficient light bulbs
The home of graphene that is the University of Manchester, where the first graphene sheet was produced has now come up with efficient light bulbs using graphene. They have created a filament shaped LED which is coated with graphene. These bulbs use 10% less energy as compared to the existing LED bulbs. These bulbs are not just energy efficient, but they also have less price as compared to its competitors.
- Strong paper
Scientists at the University of Technology in Sydney have created graphene paper, which is much stronger than traditional paper. In fact this paper is said to be more strong than steel. This paper is flexible, durable and very thin. It can be used in several industries. The best part is that this paper is recyclable.
- Use of graphene in water based inks
With the help of certain processes, it is possible to add graphene along with other electrically conducting materials to water based inks. This gives a product, which is of superior quality and also lowers the cost and improves the efficiency.
As we can see, graphene is truly a wonderful product. We only need to understand the ways and means of tapping its potential completely. If humanity is able to do this in the right way, then they can be assured of not just improving several existing products, but they will also be able to innovate new products.