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Monday, December 24, 2012

Green Battery

Researchers have found an eco-friendly alternative to the metal ores currently favored in the electrodes of lithium-ion batteries. The new non-toxic and sustainable battery uses purpurin, a red/yellow dye extracted from the root of the madder plant that has been used for dying cloth for at least 3,500 years – meaning the substance can simply be grown rather than mined.

Chemists from The City College of New York teamed with researchers from Rice University and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to develop a non-toxic and sustainable lithium-ion battery powered by purpurin, a dye extracted from the roots of the madder plant (Rubia species).
Researchers have used a dye extracted from the root of the madder plant to develop a new 'green' lithium ion battery. (Picture from: http://www.gizmag.com/)
Currently, lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) is the material of choice for forming the cathode in Li-ion batteries. However, mining the cobalt and combining it with lithium at high temperatures to form the cathode is an expensive and energy-intensive process.

They plan to use plant material instead togam to make batteries cheaper and safer for the environment. As reported by Gizmag, Arava Leela Mohana Reddy, engineers at Rice University said, to make lithium-ion battery with an energy of 1 kWh equal to removing 72 kg of carbon dioxide into the air.

However, the molecular biology-based material, the result will be more environmentally friendly. Carbonyl and hydroxyl molecules can pass electrons so that potential battery cathode material. Biological molecules are also easy to coordinate with lithium. Making biology electrode is also cheaper, because making oukup using room temperature without the complicated process. By using purpurin as much as 1 gram, they could make a half-cell battery with a capacity of 90 mAh.

The researchers are confident their green Li-ion battery will be commercially produced in the next few years. This takes into account the time needed to improve purpurin’s efficiency or find and synthesize similar molecules. *** [GIZMAG | EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | GI | PIKIRAN RAKYAT 20122012]
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