Graphene—an extract of graphite—takes the spotlight in the clean energy revolution
Graphene, a substance isolated from graphite—commonly found in pencil lead—is being recognized as a key player in the energy revolution.
Dubbed a “dream material,” graphene was first discovered in 2004 by a team of researchers led by Professors Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov at the University of Manchester in the U.K. The duo was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for their achievements with graphene.
An article published by The Independent on the 26th cites the work contributed by the two professors to the world’s most cited scientific journal Nature: “Researchers have discovered that graphene allows positively charged hydrogen atoms or protons to pass through it despite being completely impermeable to all other gases, including hydrogen itself.”
The newspaper further reported on an outlook that such qualities of graphene would allow for an incredible improvement in performance when used in fuel cells that directly generate power from atmospheric hydrogen.
Since graphene is only permeable to hydrogen atoms, its use can improve energy efficiency while preventing the generation of pollutants that result from the combustion of unwanted foreign matters.
Graphene has a thickness that is only one millionth of that of a single strand of hair, but it is 200 times more durable than steel. Of all the substances that exist on Earth, it is known to be the best conductor of electricity, hence gaining recognition as a “dream material.”
According to The Independent, research on graphene’s properties of being permeable to certain atoms and not others has been published in several scientific journals in the past. However, this is the first time that these traits have been applied to the field of energy and technology.
via Chosun Biz