Fuelling batteries with … sugar?

Batteries, as most of us are aware, aren’t necessarily the best thing for our planet. They’re incredibly useful, and, often times, a must, but with the demand for these puppies comes scrutiny for properly disposing them, among other environmental concerns.

As it turns out, though, there has been tremendous advancements in the context of developing batteries to be used in the future that aren’t so harsh on our planet, according to an article by Good News Network. And the key component to this equation is one that might surprise you.

“Simply by adding sugar, researchers from the Monash Energy Institute have created a longer-lasting, lighter, more sustainable rival to the lithium-ion batteries that are essential for aviation, electric vehicles, and submarines.

“The Monash team, assisted by CSIRO, report that using a glucose-based additive on the positive electrode they have managed to stabilize lithium-sulfur battery technology, long touted as the basis for the next generation of batteries.

“In theory, lithium-sulfur batteries could store two to five times more energy than lithium-ion batteries of the same weight. The problem has been that, in use the electrodes deteriorated rapidly, and the batteries broke down.

“There were two reasons for this—the positive sulfur electrode suffered from substantial expansion and contraction weakening it and making it inaccessible to lithium, and the negative lithium electrode became contaminated by sulfur compounds.

“Last year the Monash team demonstrated they could open the structure of the sulfur electrode to accommodate expansion and make it more accessible to lithium.

“Now, by incorporating sugar into the web-like architecture of the electrode they have stabilized the sulfur, preventing it from moving and blanketing the lithium electrode.

“Test-cell prototypes constructed by the team have been shown to have a charge-discharge life of at least 1000 cycles, while still holding far more capacity than equivalent lithium-ion batteries,” the article explains.

I suppose your coffee order and the future of batteries now have something in common.

Image from https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1610219171189-286769cc9b20?ixid=MnwxMjA3fDB8MHxwaG90by1wYWdlfHx8fGVufDB8fHx8&ixlib=rb-1.2.1&auto=format&fit=crop&w=387&q=80


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