Batteries Made from Algae
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."