Only time will tell which one of the numerous highly promising innovations in the field of energy storage will manage to steal the thunder from lithium-ion batteries. But while we wait to hear the verdict, here is the the latest contender for the top spot. A team of Swedish scientists decided to reuse lithium from old batteries, combine it with organic materials and turn all this into a recyclable organic battery.
The researchers from University of Uppsala, Sweden, decided to “attack” the problem of energy storage from a different angle. While the main concern for most guys is boost of efficiency, the team led by Daniel Brandell, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, believes that environmental pollution and depletion of resources should come first.
In their latest invention, the team incorporated organic biomaterials from the commonly known alfa-alfa and pine resin. But before you think that there is nothing new in exploring the use of renewable organic materials, let me tell you, this is not what the team is most proud of. In fact, what makes the new organic battery extremely interesting is that it contains recycled lithium from used batteries, derived through a whole new method for recovery using the biomaterials.
According to the team, the efficiency of the new battery is just as high as any other normal lithium-ion battery, and it can deliver as much as 99% of the energy output. What makes it different from existing similar technologies, however, its friendliness to the environment.
As the authors state, new technologies should focus on protecting and preserving natural resources. They demonstrate that it is possible to solve numerous problems only by exploring renewable organic materials. The major breakthrough in this research is the recycling of lithium from old batteries, something that no one has done before.
The findings and detailed description of the device can be found in the latest issue of the journal Chemistry and Sustainability.
Image (c) Daniel Brandell