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Environmentally friendly battery from wood

June 20, 2013 - Taking inspiration from trees, scientists have developed a battery made from a sliver of wood coated with tin that shows promise for becoming an efficient and environmentally friendly energy source.


June 20, 2013
By Woodbusiness

Topics

Their report on the device –
1,000 times thinner than a sheet of paper – appears in the journal Nano
Letters.

Liangbing Hu, Teng Li and
colleagues point out that today's batteries often use stiff, non-flexible
substrates, which are too rigid to release the stress that occurs as ions flow
through the battery. They knew that wood fibres from trees are supple and
naturally designed to hold mineral-rich water, similar to the electrolyte in
batteries. They decided to explore use of wood as the base of an experimental
sodium-ion battery.

Using sodium rather than
lithium would make the device environmentally friendly.

Lead author Hongli Zhu and
other team members describe lab experiments in which the device performed
successfully though 400 charge-discharge cycles, putting it among the longest
lasting of all sodium-ion nanobatteries.

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Batteries using the new
technology would be best suited for large-scale energy storage applications,
such as wind farms or solar energy installations, the report indicates.


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