ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Have you ever wanted an alternative to standard lithium batteries? An alternative that is more environmentally friendly, cheaper, and lasts longer?
As it turns out, the answer could be found in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.
Earlier this month, a group of scientific researchers from the University of Maryland developed a new and more efficient battery using the chitin found in the shells of crustaceans such as crabs and shrimp.
The chitin forms 100% biodegradable gel electrolytes, which combined with zinc components develop a battery that has a 99.7% energy efficiency rating and can be recharged almost 1000 times.
The researchers responsible for the study are currently pushing for their discovery to become integrated into the commercial battery market, in the same spirit that electric hybrid cars have been seamlessly adopted into the commercial vehicle market.
The importance of a more biodegradable battery cannot be understated.
The metal needed to create traditional batteries needs to be mined from the Earth, causing irreparable environmental damage.
Lithium batteries are also not recyclable, meaning that most batteries we use will end up in a dump.
With these new “crab shell batteries,” a much more environmentally safe option can be created from dead sea creatures.
In a press release, UMD engineer and materials scientist Liangbing Hu said:
“In the future, I hope all components in batteries are biodegradable, not only the material itself but also the fabrication process of biomaterials.”
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