A brief video describing recent work on graphene-based supercapacitors. The end result might be metal-free capacitors that can store as much energy as modern batteries, but would be able to charge up a hundred or a thousand times faster. A cell phone that charges in 2 seconds; an electric car that charges in a minute, rather than the multiple-hours currently required.
As well as getting rid of the toxic and expensive metals current batteries require, the graphene batteries could, it seems, be produced by virtually anyone: their prototypes were made by coating blank DVDs with graphite oxide and zapping it with the standard DVD-burner laser. If this can be made truly functional and distributable to the public, imagine the possibilities: anyone with a DVD burner could just crank out thin sheets of supercapacitor, and these could be use to built up capacitors or perhaps arbitrary size and storage capacity, and perhaps of arbitrary shape. Batteries of large storage and vast power that can be shaped to fit within – oh, let’s say a Gauss gun the design of which is simply downloaded off the web, and printed on your home 3D printer.
Heck: make long, thin graphene capacitors in the shape of RC helicopter blades, then mount them to RC helicopters. Given the strength of graphene, this would seem a good structural choice. Replace other structures with graphene-capacitor structures, and you might be able to produce an RC helicopter with, effectively, *no* weight penalty for the battery. Automobile skin panels. Aircraft skin panels. Aircraft spars. Flexible sheets that form portions of clothes; integrate them with some sort of piezo electric cloth that charges up the capacitor cloth from motions such as walking. Integrate the graphene capacitor directly with photovoltaic cells, then mount directly to your roof.