Lithium-ion batteries have enabled many of today’s electronics, from portable gadgets to electric cars. But much to the frustration of consumers, none of these batteries last long without a recharge.

Now scientists report in the journal ACS Nano the development of a new, “green” way to boost the performance of these batteries — with a material derived from silk.

Chuanbao Cao and colleagues note that carbon is a key component in commercial Li-ion energy storage devices including batteries and supercapacitors. Most commonly, graphite fills that role, but it has a limited energy capacity. To improve the energy storage, manufacturers are looking for an alternative material to replace graphite.

Cao’s team wanted to see if they could develop such a material using a sustainable source.

The researchers found a way to process natural silk to create carbon-based nanosheets that could potentially be used in energy storage devices. Their material stores five times more lithium than graphite can — a capacity that is critical to improving battery performance.

It also worked for over 10,000 cycles with only a 9 percent loss in stability. The researchers successfully incorporated their material in prototype batteries and supercapacitors in a one-step method that could easily be scaled up, the researchers note.

References:
Publication: Jianhua Hou, Chuanbao Cao, Faryal Idrees, Xilan Ma. Hierarchical Porous Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Nanosheets Derived from Silk for Ultrahigh-Capacity Battery Anodes and Supercapacitors. ACS Nano, 2015
Story: Silk could be new ‘green’ material for next-generation batteries | American Chemical Society — March 11, 2015

Editorial Team
We are experts with the mission to inform, educate and inspire the industry. We are passionately curious, enthusiastic, and motivated to make a positive impact in the world. Send us a tip via editors @ pvbuzz [dot] com.

Azuri Launches New Generation Solar Home Systems with HomeSmart Technology

Previous article

Solar Power Faces Uncertain Future in the U.S.

Next article

You may also like

Comments

Comments are closed.

More in Perspective