Batteries from… tree wood?

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Researchers at Brown University in the USA, in their publication in the journal “Nature”, present a new material that they created from tree wood. As they claim this material can be used in the manufacture of batteries. More specifically, the new material can be used to create a new generation of solid state batteries.

According to its creators, the new material can be used in the development of batteries that will be able to replace the lithium-ion batteries used, among other things, in the electronic devices used by modern man in his daily life, such as mobile phones and computers. But the materials that make up lithium ion batteries and especially their electrolytes are toxic and of high risk. Solid state batteries are safer than lithium ion batteries but not as efficient and at the same time are not environmentally friendly.

The new material consists of a mixture of copper and polymer pipes derived from tree wood. The material called “cellular nanowires” is extremely thin and flexible similar to a sheet of paper. It is a material that apart from its usefulness is also very easy to produce, which makes it even more attractive for use by the battery and electronics industry.

“Using materials provided by nature, we can reduce the negative impact of battery construction and use on the environment,” said Yue Ki, a professor at Brown University School of Engineering, who led the research team.

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