It is known as the miracle material of the 21st century , not only because of its surprising and ever-increasing applications, but also because of the great potential that the revolutionary graphene has . Although there are still some practical problems to be solved in order for its use to explode, its advantages are already a reality in many cases.
If produced in massive quantities at low cost, it would transform the way everything is made. Although “everything” is a saying, logically, with this eloquent expression it is easy to understand to what extent it can be used in a very wide range of products , many of them eco-friendly.
In this post we are going to review three of its utilities related to ecological uses . Specifically, to achieve energy efficiency and atmospheric decontamination, specifically with paint. But first let’s define graphene briefly.
- What is graphene
- Graphene to create solar paint
- Energy saving and purify with graphene paint
What is graphene
Defined in a simple and concise way, we can say that graphene is a resistant , light and highly conductive material with endless properties and applications discovered in 2004. It is made up of carbon sheets one atom thick and is considered the most resistant substance known.
It is 200 times stronger than steel and five times the lightness of aluminum, let’s say. And, finally, considering that it was isolated just over a decade ago, this versatile invention is incredible.
Graphene to create solar paint
Graphene photovoltaic paint is not yet within our grasp, but the advances are really promising. As you imagine, his would be to paint the walls of our house or the car with a paint that could change color. But not only that, because its ability to absorb sunlight is ideal to turn it into peculiar solar panels.
Researchers at the University of Manchester are working on this, dedicated to combining graphene with other materials to give it photovoltaic properties. If we advance in this sense, we would obtain solar panels with a larger surface at a lower cost, in addition to not being invasive, since they would not require space.
That is, the photovoltaic material would be applied as if it were a painting, without further complications. Then the sun would do the rest. For their part, scientists from the University of Sheffield, in the United Kingdom, created a paint in the form of a spray, with the peculiarity that this time perovskite is used to create solar cells, a material cheaper than silicon that is used conventionally.
Energy saving and purify with graphene paint
Improving the energy efficiency of buildings and decontaminating the air is possible thanks to the innovative paint that Graphenstone has launched, made with a lime base combined with graphene in fiber. Unlike lime-based paints, this one incorporates graphene, taking advantage of its high conductivity to improve the thermal regulation of rooms and, on the other hand, also of homes or buildings as a whole.
The result, logically, is significant energy savings, since paint plays a role in distributing heat. Or, what is the same, graphene captures heat, conducting it throughout the painted surface, and the same is true of air conditioning.
In other words, the need for one and the other is reduced thanks to the thermal regulation that is achieved with this paint. In this way, the insulation of the building is improved both externally and internally.
With rebound, extra protection of the walls is obtained, since the presence of graphene in its composition protects against the formation of rust . Other environmental benefits refer to a lighter carbon footprint, as little paint is required to cover large surfaces without the risk of corrosion.
The thinness and strength of graphene are the reasons for these advantages. To get an idea, according to the company, a liter of paint would be enough to give two coats to an area of around eight square meters.
Finally, this graphene paint is a kind of carbon sink that gives us the ideal nanotechnology for both exteriors and interiors. According to its creators, the Sevillian company Iedisa ,, less than 50 liters of this paint absorb the same CO2 as a tree for a year.
If we add to this that it does not have harmful toxic compounds , it is also healthy, especially if we compare it with conventional paint. Currently, the company is working to expand its range of colors and the manufacture of other products made with lime and graphene for use in the construction of houses.
In the field of energy efficiency, its results are promising thanks to incredible proposals made by countless investigations. It can be key in the manufacture of smartphone screens, among other mobile devices and other electronic devices, making them thinner and more durable. Among other reasons, for bringing together advantageous properties of flexibility and toughness over time, in addition to being waterproof.
It also has countless medical applications for tissue regeneration, the manufacture of prostheses or medical instruments. Or, for example, it could increase the efficiency of photovoltaic panels and electrovoltaic rechargeable batteries, also reducing charging time.
The list of uses is endless . To mention others, it is useful for making durable light bulbs that save 10 percent more than LEDs, building wind turbines, stronger and lighter vehicles such as cars, trains or airplanes, as well as a long list of practical uses.
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