In 2013, researchers from the University of Alberta developed a new low-cost process to turn hemp bast fibers into graphene-like materials. Now the same team reports that those hemp fibers may be as efficient as graphene for supercapacitor electrodes, or even better. Those electrodes are made from bio waste in a simple process, and are much cheaper than graphene based electrodes.
Those fibers come from the inner bark of the hemp plant, which are often discarded. Hemp is a used in Canada to make clothing, construction materials and other products. The researchers explain that to create those fibers, they first had to really understand the structure of the plant and then tune their process which involved heating it for 24 hours at a 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and then blasting it with more intense heat, after which it exfoliates into carbon nanosheets.