Batteries Out of Plants? On the Horizon

The ubiquitous little –and not so little– battery on which much of our world depends could be getting a very nifty heart transplant if researchers at Rice are to be believed.

 …researchers at Rice University say they have found a way to replace a costly metallic component in lithium-ion batteries with material from a common plant.

Many of today’s lithium-ion batteries incorporate cobalt, which has to be mined and then altered at high temperature. But Rice researchers say they can accomplish the same function using a dye extracted from a plant.

 

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You could probably grow madder at home as easily as marijuana, but it’s not going to be so easy to make the dye and fabricate the little charge-storage unit.  Even so, what a great turn of events it would be to cut back on cobalt mining and extraction.

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