Scientists Develop Battery Made from Wood Slivers


treeScientists at the University of Maryland’s NanoCenter are working on a tiny new eco-friendly battery made from a sliver of wood. With countless everyday and clinical applications, the environmentally-minded battery discovery has the potential to revolutionize the way we look at itty bitty power sources – for good.

Most of the batteries in use today are created with the use of rigid substrates. These non-flexible substances don’t allow for the release of stress, which occurs naturally as ions flow freely throughout the battery. That’s where the new eco-friendly batteries come in. Over 1,000 times thinner than a single sheet of notebook paper, the wood sliver batteries are much more supple and flexible.

The inspiration for the devices was, not surprisingly, trees. After all, the trunks and branches of trees are naturally designed to hold on to water. Using the mineral and hydration flow within trees as a launching pad, the scientists went on to create a battery using sodium ions rather than the traditional lithium. Making the switch from lithium to sodium makes the innovative batteries even more eco-friendly, giving all of their scientific and clinical applications a decidedly green slant.

Look for the sodium ion wood batteries in big energy storage projects, like solar and wind farms, in the near future.
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