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Mind & Matter

 

Batteries Made from Algae

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A new seaweed polymer developed by Georgia Tech and Clemson improves battery electrodes.

 

As scientists continue their search to replicate high-performance natural systems, they are more and more incorporating biological substances into new technologies. In the case of batteries, the search for increased efficiency at reasonable cost has proven a difficult challenge. However, scientists at Georgia Tech and Clemson Universities have recently boosted battery performance by incorporating alginate, an extract from common algae. The use of alginate as an electrode binder material in lithium-ion batteries not only augments power storage, but also allows for the replacement of toxins that are currently used in these batteries.

"Making less expensive batteries that can store more energy and last longer with the help of alginate could provide a large and long-lasting impact on the community," says Gleb Yushin, an assistant professor at Georgia Tech's School of Materials Science and Engineering. "These batteries could contribute to building a more energy efficient economy with extended-range electric cars, as well as cell phones and notebook computers that run longer on battery power—all with environmentally-friendly manufacturing technologies."

 

 
 

Comments (1 Total)

  • Posted by: Anonymous | Time: 9:03 AM Thursday, March 01, 2012

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About the Blogger

Blaine Brownell

thumbnail image Minnesota-based architect and author Blaine Brownell, AIA, is a self-defined materials researcher and sustainable building adviser. His "Product of the Week" emails and three volumes of Transmaterial (2006, 2008, 2010) provide designers with a steady flow of inspiration—a 21st-century Grammar of Ornament. Blaine has practiced architecture in Japan and the U.S. and has been published in more than 40 design, business, and science publications. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship for 2006–07, he researched contemporary Japanese material innovations at the Tokyo University of Science. He currently teaches architecture and co-directs the M.S. in Sustainable Design program at the University of Minnesota. His book Matter in the Floating World was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2011.