Due to the very nature of graphene, it is highly customizable and adaptable to many different applications in many different fields. Below are some of the industries and applications, both being researched and realized, that graphene could end up revolutionizing. It is far from an exhaustive list.
Graphene is being lined up to replace silicon in the next generation of photo-voltaic cells. Graphene is much more efficient than silicon, working with all wavelengths. It is also being used as the electrodes, helping to increase the productivity of the solar cell, while similarly reducing manufacturing complexity and cost of production.
Graphene brings a number of advantages to battery technology, including highly efficient anodes, allowing their use for higher energy tasks such as the next generation of electrical vehicles. Graphene based lithium-ion batteries will be able to provide much greater battery life with a much smaller size and weight. Graphene is also being looked at to replace expensive platinum based components within fuel cells. More exciting though is graphene’s use as a super-capacitor with a greater performance than any current batteries. Research suggests that they will be able to store large amounts of energy while being able to be charged incredibly quickly – within minutes instead of hours.
Graphene is very strong and incredibly light. Carbon fiber has already become de rigueur in aerospace and high end automobile production, with graphene expected to further reduce the use of steel. Graphene will reduce the weight of aircraft and automobiles, increasing fuel efficiency and range. The uses for components with incredibly high strength to weight ratios extends well beyond the aerospace and automobile industry.
Interest in graphene in the development of biosensors is increasing, with it showing increased efficiency and wider application usages than the existing organic components. Graphene based platforms are also being developed for various cancers, where they are showing safety levels well above those of existing cancer treatments such as chemical and radiation therapy and surgery.
Possibly the widest range of short term applications for graphene are within the electronics industry, especially Televisions, touch screens and lighting panels. Graphene is highly conductive while also being almost completely transparent. Products such as e-paper and foldable electronic devices are not far fetched and could be seen within the next decade.
Graphene sheets permit water to pass through them, while being practically impervious to all other gases and liquids. Graphene has a greater strength, lighter weight and cheaper than the existing aluminum oxide currently being used in the finest filters today. Graphene desalination systems will be able to provide potable water at a fraction of the cost of the reverse osmosis methods currently being deployed.