A team of researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University led by Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Electrochemical and Nanotechnology Craig Banks received a £500,000 grant the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to create 3D printed structures and objects with graphene inks.
Banks announced, “Energy storage systems (ESS) are critical to address climate change and, as clean energy is generated through a variety of ways, an efficient way to store this energy is required.”
According to Banks, batteries 3D printed with graphene inks can expand the storage of charge in the batteries and super capacitors. This advantage will be crucial to factories or manufacturers that are in need of sustainable and long lasting batteries.
“This project will be utilizing the reported benefits of graphene – it is more conductive than metal – and applying these into ESS. We’re trying to achieve a conductive ink that blends the fantastic properties of graphene with the ease of use of 3D printing to be manipulated into a structure that’s beneficial for batteries and super capacitors,” explained Banks in his research.
The project which will run approximately for three and a half years will focus on using pure graphene to build high quality and long lasting batteries. According to Banks, most organizations and individuals that have attempted to use graphene in 3DPrinting electrical components have utilized a mixture of graphene or ‘semi-graphene’, which often lead to low-performance and ineffective.
“We need to figure out a way to cure it directly, possibly by shining a UV light on to it, as anything above a micron level takes a long time. Ideally, we could have the brilliant scenario where you just plug in and go – printing whatever structure you want out of graphene from a machine on your desk,” stated Banks.