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Human hair transformed into renewable energy storage

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses how a research team at Charles Sturt University has discovered a way to transform discarded human hair strands into graphite, which can be used in energy storage and drug delivery technology. The research was conducted in collaboration with Sustainable Salons, an organization that collects hair clippings from salons across Australia and New Zealand.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Transforming Human Hair into Graphite

1. What is the key finding of the research team at Charles Sturt University?

  • The research team has discovered how to turn human hair into graphite, which can then be used in lithium-ion batteries.
  • Producing graphite from human hair is an eco-friendly and sustainable alternative to the traditional methods that use harsh chemicals.

2. What are the potential applications of the graphite derived from human hair?

  • The graphite can be used in making lithium-ion batteries to power technologies such as electric vehicles.
  • It can also be used in energy storage solutions and drug delivery technology.

3. Why is it important to find sustainable ways to produce graphite?

  • There is an ever-rising demand for more energy production, and countries are trying to switch to renewable sources.
  • To make this switch, sustainable ways to store energy are needed, and the production of graphite, a key material used in lithium-ion batteries, is currently concentrated in a few countries, causing supply chain and geopolitical issues.

4. How does using human hair as a source of graphite address these challenges?

  • Producing graphite from human hair, which is an abundant and readily available waste material, can provide a sustainable and local source of this material in Australia.
  • This eliminates the need for harsh chemicals used in traditional graphite production, making it an eco-friendly alternative.

[02] Collaboration with Sustainable Salons

1. What is the role of Sustainable Salons in this research?

  • Sustainable Salons, a for-purpose organization, collects hair clippings from salons and pet groomers across Australia and New Zealand and supplies them to the research team at Charles Sturt University.
  • This collaboration allows the researchers to access a steady supply of the raw material (human hair) needed for their work.

2. What is the vision of Sustainable Salons regarding the use of human hair?

  • Sustainable Salons envisions a future where hair transcends its conventional status as waste and emerges as a sustainable resource with immense potential.
  • The organization believes that harnessing hair to power electric vehicles demonstrates that a sustainable future is limitless when we embrace the circular economy.

3. How does the use of human hair as a resource align with the goals of the circular economy?

  • Hair is an infinite resource that is constantly growing, making it a renewable and sustainable source of material.
  • By repurposing discarded hair clippings into valuable products like graphite, the research aligns with the principles of the circular economy, where waste is minimized, and resources are reused and recycled.
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