By looking to Mother Nature for solutions, researchers have identified a promising new binder material for lithium-ion battery electrodes that could not only boost energy storage, but also eliminate the use of toxic compounds now used in manufacturing the components.
Known as alginate, the material is extracted from common, fast-growing brown algae. In tests so far, it has helped boost energy storage and output for both graphite-based electrodes used in existing batteries and silicon-based electrodes being developed for future generations of batteries.
The research, the result of collaboration between scientists and engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Clemson University, was reported Sept. 8 in Science Express, an online-only publication of the journal Science. The project was supported by the two universities, as well as by a Honda Initiation Grant and a grant from NASA. [via]
Seaweed polymer may improve electrodes in Lithium-Ion batteries – [Link]