This super strong and super light material will be a real technological revolution: it is only one carbon atom thick, but it is much stronger than steel and extremely flexible.
Since 2004, the year in which graphene was isolated by researchers, the list of patents that contemplate its use is getting longer and longer.
Here are 10 applications with which graphene will change the world.
Fuel from the air
Andre Geim and his team, the same who won the Nobel Prize for isolating graphene, showed that this material can be used to make mobile electric generators that run on hydrogen extracted from the air thanks to the characteristics of extreme impermeability of graphene.
This means that thin graphene films can be used to greatly improve the efficiency of proton exchange membranes or essential components of fuel cell technology. Geim imagines a future of vehicles powered only by hydrogen stored in the atmosphere.
Much more drinking water
Graphene can help solve global water shortages. Special membranes made with this material they are large enough to pass water and at the same time small enough to filter all its impurities, with a degree of efficiency thousands of times greater than current reverse osmosis membranes.
The first applications were impressive: in a demonstration some time ago a water sample taken from the port of Sydney was made bacteriologically pure and excellent to drink after just one filtering. In one 2018 study Researchers from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) used a filter called "Graphair" to make seawater drinkable after just one pass.
“No matter how dirty the water is: this technology makes it drinkable instantly,” Dong Han, CSIRO
Electronics will radically change
Goodbye Silicon Valley: the future will be cradled by graphene. Silicon components are rapidly reaching the limit of their possible miniaturization, and the evolution of our electronic systems will eventually stagnate: the answer will come from the ultra-thin nature of graphene, which will make electronics faster and more powerful than ever, flexible screens and rollable, Quantum computers are a mass product.
Remember the movie "Predator"? The protagonist was a bloodthirsty (and vaguely Rastafarian) alien who had the ability to see the world in infrared and map the heat of objects and people. Now, thanks to graphene, it is possible to acquire this modality: researchers at the University of Michigan have developed graphene contact lenses, which allow the user to “see” the entire infrared spectrum, plus visible and ultraviolet light.
Take and enjoy them all! Graphene has the ability to improve sexual life as well. THE Condoms made with graphene, under study for over 5 years (research is a bit slow despite substantial funds, including those of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) can be incredibly subtle and give a feeling of absolute absence, and at the same time super safe (they simply cannot break).
A world without rust
Given its totally waterproof nature, it is clear that a layer of graphene paint it can be used to prevent corrosion and rust for life. Researchers have shown that fiberglass or copper lids coated with graphene perfectly contain even the most corrosive acids in the world.
The bright walls they could replace other light sources thanks to the development of technologies capable of making ultra-thin screens. This sort of "bright wallpaper" would have a better diffusion and a much lower consumption.
"Using graphene instead of traditional metal electrodes will make the components easier to recycle and environmentally friendly," says Nathaniel Robinson of Linköping University, where the research is based.
To technology fanatics who feel at one with their devices, I would say that everything is yet to come: research on graphene will lead to experiments of total integration with our biological systems. Long story short: completely unnoticeable graphene devices implanted in ours can read into our nervous system or communicate on a cellular level. Imagine what it will be like to monitor your sports performance: other than pedometer.
Best hair dyes
It won't change the world like other things, but graphene also promises to provide better alternatives to toxic hair dyes.
One 2018 study Northwestern University reports not only the ability of graphene to increase the durability of dyes, but it can also do so without any organic solvent or toxic ingredients. And it adds antibacterial and antistatic properties to hair, as well as better heat dissipation.
The researchers sprayed a graphene oxide gel on blonde hair and let it dry for 10 minutes. The layer of graphene "dye", just 2 microns thick, remained on the hair even after 30 washes, without causing any type of damage or wear to the hair.
By its nature, given its incredible strength, graphene is inevitably involved in research aimed at creating best bulletproof clothes. A protection made with layers of graphene offers twice the impact absorption compared to Kevlar. Its lightness and flexibility will allow you to create much more agile and flexible clothing. And not only that: it will also be possible to improve protection on other objects, such as bulletproof windows.