Monday, May 18, 2015

Six ways in which graphene is going to change the world

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Six ways in which graphene is going to change the world

ET Bureau
Despite its miniscule size, graphene has a grand portfolio of wondrous properties. For instance, it’s 1,000 times stronger than steel, yet 1,000 times lighter than paper.
We are on the brink of a revolution that will completely change the way we use everyday products.Leading the way is a fascinating material called graphene. It is a thin sheet of carbon atoms — the same element in diamonds and coal — and was the first two-dimensional substance ever created, meaning it's one-atom thick, or about one million times thinner than a human hair.

Here are six ways in which graphene can revolutionise the world. 

An end to water scarcity 

Graphene could end the water shortage. Last March, a team led by  Oak Ridge National Laboratory said that they had developed a porous sheet of graphene that could easily remove salt from saltwater, a process called desalination. When put to the test, the graphene membrane rejected nearly 100% of the salt molecules. Read unlimited water. 

Better oil spill mops 

This April, researchers at  Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory reported that they had developed a revolutionary way to manufacture graphene through 3D printing. Aero-gels are made of mostly air, which makes them highly absorbent. Therefore they could be used as a quick new way of cleaning up oil spills. 

Faster, cheaper computers 

In January,  IBM announced a major breakthrough: They built an integrated circuit made of graphene. For the first time, the machine performed comparable to silicon technology. IBM said they were pledging another $3 b to continue researching ways to make faster, cheaper computer chips with graphene. 

More joy with thin condoms 

More joy with thin condoms 

In 2013,  the Bill &  Melinda Gates Foundation gave the researchers at the  University of Manchester$100,000 to develop a graphene condom. Apart from being thin and strong, graphene can also conduct heat extremely well. That means a graphene condom be not only more reliable, but could also quickly adjust to body temperature — making the overall experience of wearing one more pleasurable. 

Super fast & smart batteries 

One of graphene's mostpromising properties is its ability to efficiently conduct electricity. This feature has incredible promise for a new type of reusable battery, called a supercapacitor.  Tesla Motors is reportedly exploring these types of graphene batteries to produce a battery-powered car that could last for 500 miles on a single charge. 

Foldable, flexible gadgets 

Researchers at  UCLA developed a process to produce a graphene-based supercapacitor that could charge and discharge a thousand times faster than standard batteries. The liquid graphite mixtures called graphene ink, have a number of applications including printable, flexible electronics that are thin enough to fold, roll, and crumple without breakage.

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