STATES CHRONICLE – Electricity is used to power up almost everything. All of our devices have small lithium-ion batteries which power them up, and now there are even electric cars on the roads which can be powered just by plugging them in.
But the conventional lithium-ion batteries have their downsides. First of all, they are made of toxic materials which are also extremely inflammable. If you’ve heard of smartphones or hoverboards burning up, you should know it was because of their batteries.
Moreover, the lithium-ion batteries are hard to dispose of and are not exactly eco-friendly. Thankfully, a team of MIT researchers managed to come up with a new idea for developing safe and toxic free batteries as alternatives to the traditional ones.
The new batteries should produce electrical energy as well, but in a different way than the traditional ones. They coated small carbon cylinders with inflammable material and started heating it at one end. What happened was that electricity was produced. This was done first in 2010, but back then researchers managed to produce only a very small amount of current.
Since then, they kept the research going, experimenting and refining the process in their attempt to produce more energy. Their latest experiment was a success, achieving an energy which was 10,000 times greater than what was produced in the first experiment.
What helps this mechanism create electricity is the coating. Scientists figured out that the only thing they need for the experiment to be a success is not explosives, but table sugar. The new battery can power up simple devices such as LED.
However, the team believes it will take a while until the product is introduced on the market for commercial use. Just as the lithium-ion technology took 25 years to get to power everything is powers today, it might take the same for the sugary new batteries.
At the moment, the focus is on the lifespan of the new battery which researchers want to make suitable for space and underwater explorations, where it is difficult to recharge. The new battery mechanism works like this: carbon nanotubes carry electrons which burn away.
Although it might take a while until the alternative batteries come to the market, let’s hope they will eventually as they will be a lot safer both for humans and the environment.
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