Innovation That Matters

Most batteries today use liquid electrolytes that are flammable and toxic | Photo source Pixabay

New battery uses wood-based material for stronger, safer design

Sustainability

The paper-thin material is more resilient to stress and less likely to catch on fire

Spotted: Most current batteries use liquid electrolytes, which are flammable, toxic and have a tendency to support growths that cause short circuiting. Now, researchers have created an ion superhighway made from a wood-based material that transports battery power faster with improved efficiency.

Using paper-thin cellulose nanofibrils combined with copper, the solid ion conductor moves molecules between a battery’s cathode and anode at a speed and rate of conductivity that could transform the next generation of batteries.

The discovery is part of a collaboration between researchers from Brown University’s School of Engineering, and the University of Maryland’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Replacing liquid electrolytes with a solid material greatly reduces the potential for chemical environmental damage. And in tests, the new material proved far more flexible and resilient to stress than ceramics, another superconductor frequently tested for use in batteries. Further development of the findings will focus on scalability and consumer access.

Battery innovation is taking many forms. Researchers are experimenting with different aspects of batteries, from size and power source to new materials and designs. Another solid-state battery innovation that Springwise has recently spotted is silicon-based, while a salt-centred battery is newly available for commercial transport use.

Written By: Keely Khoury

Email: kevin_stacey@brown.edu

Website: brown.edu

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