Mushrooms Lead to More Sustainable Batteries

Researchers at the University of California believe that portabella mushrooms can stop cell phone batteries from degrading over time.

The team has created a new type of lithium-ion battery anode using portabella mushrooms, which are inexpensive, environmentally friendly and easy to produce.

“The current industry standard for rechargeable lithium-ion battery anodes is synthetic graphite, which comes with a high cost of manufacturing because it requires tedious purification and preparation processes that are also harmful to the environment,” Phys.org said.

The engineers used the mushrooms because past research has established they are highly porous with many tiny spaces that liquid or air can pass through. This is important for batteries because it creates more space for the storage and transfer of energy.

“A conventional anode allows lithium to fully access most of the material during the first few cycles and capacity fades from electrode damage occurs from that point on. The mushroom carbon anode technology could, with optimization, replace graphite anodes. It also provides a binderless and current-collector free approach to anode fabrication,” Phys.org added.

The results of the research were outlined in a paper, “Bio-Derived, Binderless, Hierarchically Porous Carbon Anodes for Li-ion Batteries,” published on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, in the journal Scientific Reports.


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