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Silk Used to Make Better Batteries


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The world would be a very different place if we had not developed batteries, especially lithium-ion batteries as they have enabled us to create the powerful yet portable devices we rely on every day. As we continue to demand better performance from our devices, we will have to find some way to improve the batteries that power them. As reported by the American Chemical Society in its journal ACS Nano, researchers may have found a solution from silk.

Many modern energy storage technologies rely on graphite electrodes for storing energy, but it has its limits. To push past those limits, the researchers looked to other carbon sources and found a material derived from silk to replace graphite. The carbon-based nanosheets the researchers created have five times the lithium storage capacity as graphite, which means batteries using them could store substantially more power. Of course storing more power means little of the batteries lack stability, but when tested the material survived 10,000 charge/discharge cycles with only a 9% loss.

The process the researchers used to create their prototype batteries and supercapacitors are single-step and can be easily scaled up.

Source: American Chemical Society


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