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Hemp-derived carbon nanosheets help build cheap, high-performance supercapacitors

The advance could lead to supercapacitors that are both cheaper and able to operate under harsh environmental conditions.

Despite a bad reputation, hemp is a truly remarkable plant. It can be grown on the cheap, requiring very little care even in very cold and dry environments, and has many uses, ranging from construction material to clothing, bioplastics, and even biofuel creation.

In what may be the most surprising application of the lot, a team led by Prof. David Mitlin was able to build supercapacitor electrodes from the inner bark fibers of (THC-free) hemp, a waste product. Remarkably, the performance of the device was on par or better than standard graphene-based supercapacitors, even though the new material can be obtained at one thousandth of the cost and processed with ease.

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