China Telecom Rolls Out First Graphene Power Pack as the Material Commercializes

25 Jul

Chinese mobile network carrier China Telecom reportedly developed the first mobile power pack made with graphene, a carbon material that could reduce the recharge time to 10 minutes, as most manufacturers of handheld devices urgently seek ways to increase battery capacity.

According to Chinese media, China Telecom unveiled a mobile power bank made with graphene at a recent trade show in Guangzhou. The company said the power bank could fully recharge a device with a 6000mAh battery in just 10 minutes and would be an answer to the battery capacity issue.

Compared to existing regular power packs, the graphene power pack has relatively lower energy density. The graphene power bank is enclosed in aluminum panels to protect the graphene materials.

The graphene power bank has a USB-A port and supports QC3.0 output (5V3A/9V2A/12V1.5A). The device also has a MircoUSB port offering power up to 5V2.4A. On the bottom of the device sits a DC power jack that supports high-power recharge with 9V-40V and 120W (12V10A).

China Telecom has not made public the power pack’s retail price and release date.

China has been working proactively in the development of graphene materials. According to a recent report by an industry innovation alliance in China, graphene can soon be commercialized and that by 2020, annual capacity of graphene will grow from the current level of 100 metric tons to 1,000 tons, pushing up the market size to over US$100 billion. Of which, China is expected to account for 50 percent to 80 percent of the market share.

Graphene is a material made of carbon atoms and an excellent material for lighting, power and heat. The material can be used in telecommunications, renewable energy and biomedical applications. In addition, graphene is also one of the thinnest yet strongest materials. It is believed to be 200 times stronger than steel and can stretch up to 20 percent of its length. Such characteristics make graphene one of the possible alternative to silicon, and many believe that semiconductor transistor made with graphene could have optimized speed and size.

Currently, over 80 countries around the world have contributed to the research and development of graphene. The U.S., UK, South Korea, Japan and some European countries see graphene as a strategic industry and are optimistic about its massive opportunities and value. Companies like IBM, Intel, DOW Chemical Company and General Motors are also working on the development of graphene.

(Photo courtesy of AlexanderAlUS (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons)

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