With technology advancing rapidly, batteries that are an important part of it always seem to be lagging behind, and often hinder the development of new devices due to their massive size and limited storage capacity. Now, however, a group of scientists has taken a big step in this field by developing two new high capacity storage devices made of cheap and renewable material: wood.
These new spongy batteries are durable and flexible and can withstand the electronics as it is called, which many similar electronic devices can not do. Still this lightweight material developed to build batteries, an airship, has allowed scientists to create three-dimensional structures, something that has been pursued for over a decade. Although some three-dimensional charging-storage devices similar to this new battery have been created in the past, they have been restricted because of the production process used to create these complex constructions.
“There are limits to how thin a battery can be, but this becomes less important when we have three-dimensional structures,” said the head of the scientific team that developed this Max Hamedi technology. “We are no longer limited to the two dimensions. We can now build in three dimensions, which allows us to adapt more electronically to a smaller device, “Hamedi continued.
To build this innovative wood-based airbrush, scientists from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stanford University began with the breakdown of cellulose, a long chain of sugar molecules located on the walls of plant cells, which give the wood its hardness. After the cellulose fibers have been reduced to about one millionth of their original thickness, the resulting “nanocellulose” is then dissolved and dried by freezing to remove moisture. These fibers are then passed through a technique that stabilizes the molecules, preventing this new foam from collapsing.
“The result is a material that is powerful, lightweight and soft,” said Hamedi. “The material resembles a foam such as a mattress, although it is tougher, lighter and porous. One can touch it without breaking it. ”
Scientists then overwhelm this spongy material with an ink that is used to pass the electrical current into the airplane, allowing researchers to finally build two three-dimensional energy storage devices: a hybrid battery and a superconductor which is a fast charging device -load, capable of storing huge amounts of electrical charge.
Although further research on these devices is needed until we see them in general use, researchers believe that these devices could be used in electric cars or even in clothes to charge our mobile devices in motion.