The pioneers behind lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries were awarded Nobel prize this year. Still, scientists around the world already wish to move beyond this technology and search for more sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives.
A team of chemical engineers at Texas A&M University is proposing a new battery with an unconventional twist: its electrodes are made with peptides — the building block of proteins.
The cathode and anode of a Li-ion battery are often made of lithium and other metals, which allow Li-ion to traverse back and forth during discharge-charge cycles. These metal components are difficult to recycle and unsafe to dispose into the environment, and they make the battery hard to bend and stretch.
According to the studies done by the Texas A&M group, their protein batteries are safe, recyclable, and inexpensive devices. After reaching the end of their life, they could be recycled or returned to their basic form — the amino acids.
This study is presented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall 2019 National Meeting & Exposition this week.
Source: ACS via Youtube