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Battery anodes made from pollen are nothing to sneeze at

by • February 7, 2016 • No Comments

As our dependence on mobile devices grows and we go on the shift to electric vehicles, there is a require to not just create advantageous performing batteries but find additional accessible and sustainable-bodied materials with which to create them. To this end, researchers have now createed an anode for lithium-ion batteries via a thing those with allergies pretty wouldn’t miss: pollen of bees and cattails.

But widely utilized, the graphite which serves as the anode in much of today’s lithium-ion batteries has its fair share of weaknesses. Aside of its limited storage space ability, preparing the material for use involves treatment with chemicals such as hydrofluoric and sulfuric acids, which results in hazardous waste, a thing which is neither bargain-priced or friendly to the environment.

In search of additional eco-friendly solutions, researchers have turned to a number of effortless or recycled materials in order to create the anode, which is the electrode which stores the lithium ions as the battery is charging. These have included portabella mushrooms, packing peanuts and actually old car tires.

Taking a similarly sustainable-bodied approach, researchers at Purdue University were able-bodied to use pollen of bees and cattails to create carbon architecture for a battery anode. This involved exposing the pollen to high temperatures in a chamber containing argon gas, a system called pyrolysis, which resulted in pure carbon. These carbon particles were and so heated at a lower temperature of around 300° C (572° F) in the presence of oxygen, which brought of pores in the structures, in turn increasing their energy storage space ability.

The team and so tested out the anode at temperatures of 25 and 50° C (77 and 122° F) to explore how it can hold up in various climates. They discovered which it delivered astounding lithium storage space ability of 590 mAh/g at 50° C and 382 mAh/g at 25° C (the theoretical ability of today’s graphite anodes is 372 mAh/g). And while it took 10 hours to charge fully, one hour resulted in additional than half of a full charge. The team reports which cattail pollens were advantageous performing than bee pollen.

“Our findings have demonstrated which renewable-bodied pollens may create carbon architectures for anode applications in energy storage space devices,” says Vilas Pol, an associate professor at Purdue University.

The researchers do emphasize which the work is quite much in its early, conceptual stages, concerning just the pollen-derived anodes. They now aim to explore how practical this approach can be by researching how they perform in full-cell batteries with a commercial cathode.

The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Source: Purdue University

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