Battery Elements using Algae

Posted on Posted in Tech-'o'-Mania

Hello guyzz!! How’re u all?? As we can clearly see the technology gearing up these days to innovate the lives of the people. Nowadays, it can be taken as the basic need for the ease of living. Today we’re talking about the thing that most of the crowd is hardly aware of.. Can u guyzz imagine that the battery elements can be made by using algae?? Yes, you read it correctly, I’ve just said using algae….

algae-759Yes this is possible, some high profiled researchers from University of California-Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering made this thing possible. They have used fossilised remains of single-celled algae called diatoms to create silicon-based anodes for ultra-high capacity lithium-ion batteries. Researchers found that preservation of the diatoms’ cell walls could be used to create porous anodes that allow easy access for the electrolyte. These batteries could be used to power electric vehicles in future.

In the paper, published in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers said unlike graphite, which is the material of choice for most anodes, silicon can store about 10 times more energy. But developing a silicon anode as an alternative through the traditional method, called carbothermic reduction, is expensive and energy-intensive.

So to cut down the cost, the team turned to a cheap source of silicon — diatomaceous earth (DE) — and a more efficient chemical process called magnesiothermic reduction, which converts this low-cost source of Silicon Dioxide (SiO2) to pure silicon nano-particles.

DE is an abundant, silicon-rich sedimentary rock that is composed of the fossilised remains of diatoms deposited over millions of years.

“A significant finding in our research was the preservation of the diatom cell walls — structures known as frustules — creating a highly porous anode that allows easy access for the electrolyte,” Mihri Ozkan, research lead and professor of electrical engineering, said. This research is the latest in a series of projects led by Mihri Ozkan and Cengiz to create lithium-ion battery anodes from environment-friendly materials.

To improve the adoption of electric vehicles, we need much better batteries. We believe diatomaceous earth, which is abundant and inexpensive, could be another sustainable source of silicon for battery anodes, added Ozkan.

Cengiz and Mihri Ozkan


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