Is Graphite the material of the future?

There is an almost invisible material called graphene, which is essentially graphite, but as a single 2-dimensional layer in thickness (about one million times thinner than a human hair). We’ve been using graphite for hundreds of years. The pencil was invented in 1564 when a huge graphite (black carbon) mine was discovered in Cumbria, UK.    
It was only isolated as graphene (quite simply using sticky tape) in the early 2000s at the university of Manchester, which awarded the two fellows the Nobel Prize in physics. A carbon graphite flake was repeatedly separated until it was only one atom in thickness.
Now then, you must think that this is strange coming from SVPG?
Graphene research over the last few years has leaped. Now we can see graphene being used in the future for mobile phone and laptop batteries (Samsung being pioneers in the field), for electric car batteries, in renewable energy, for replacing some plastics and latex products and it can be used to filter to provide clean drinking water.   
The properties of graphene are endless. It is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, it is predicted that a graphene battery can charge up to 5 times faster than the standard lithium battery. As a material it is exceptionally strong, light in weight and extremely flexible.
Carbon is an abundant and organic resource. The important point is that graphene could pave the way in solar technology. Solar cells require materials that are conductive and transparent; this is where the “wonder material” is needed. If every new house in the UK was built with solar roof panels using this new technology, the market for fossil fuels would plummet. The race is on. Let’s see solar powered street lights, energy efficient houses and industry using more renewables.
Whilst we look at new technologies to relieve fossil fuels, critically, as for any material or manufactured product, we should accept responsibility for use. We should take extreme caution for transport and disposal to ensure risks to human health and environment are significantly minimal.
There are potential problems with carbon nanotechnology and studies have considered the effect of living organisms at cellular level. All things considered, with respectful use current research may help to shed some light on a sustainable future using graphene. 

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