According to foreign media reports, lithium batteries of mobile phones and other electronic devices will age over time, and the degradation of lithium batteries will cause huge environmental costs. Is there a better way to store electric energy? The wide application of portable electronic devices such as mobile phones is one of the characteristics of the current era. People can plug in the mobile phone power on the wall, and then gradually consume the stored power. Lithium battery is the core component of mobile phone. It has changed the traditional ability of storing and carrying electric energy, and has revolutionized our electronic equipment. In 1991, Sony Corporation of Japan commercialized lithium batteries for the first time. At that time, the company was actively seeking to solve the problem of short battery life of handheld cameras. At present, lithium batteries have been widely used in many products, such as smart phones, notebook computers, electric toothbrushes and hand-held vacuum cleaners. At the end of 2019, three scientists who invented lithium batteries won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this revolutionary technology. However, the demand for lithium batteries in modern human life will only increase. Electric vehicles rely on lithium-ion batteries to replace the fossil fuels currently used in automobiles. With the increasing proportion of renewable energy in the global power supply, more battery packs will be needed to store electric energy, which can be used without wind or sun irradiation. It is reported that more than 7 billion lithium-ion batteries are sold worldwide every year, and it is estimated that more than 15 billion lithium-ion batteries will be sold by 2027. However, with the aging of mobile phones, the power consumption is becoming less and less. We know that lithium-ion batteries also have limitations. Over time, the battery’s ability to charge will decline, which means it will also store less energy. At the same time, in extremely hot or cold weather, the performance of lithium-ion batteries will also decline. In addition, people are worried about the safety and sustainability of lithium-ion batteries. Under certain specific conditions, lithium-ion batteries are prone to fire and explosion. In addition, mining metal materials for lithium-ion batteries will also bring high social and environmental costs. < / P > < p > this has prompted scientists around the world to try and develop new batteries to overcome these problems. They hope to use new materials, including diamonds, stinky fruits, etc., to find new ways to power future technologies. < p > < p > the working principle of lithium-ion battery is to make charged lithium particles (ions) pass through the liquid electrolyte in the middle, making the current move from one end to the other. The biggest advantage of lithium-ion battery is “energy density” – the maximum energy that the battery can hold in its volume. This also makes the lithium-ion battery the most expensive battery in the market, and other batteries Compared with cell technology, lithium-ion batteries can also provide higher voltage. < / P > < p > essentially, a battery consists of three key components – the negative, the positive, and the electrolyte between the positive and negative electrodes. The role of the electrode switches between the positive and negative electrodes, which will determine whether the battery is charging or discharging. In lithium ion batteries, the negative electrode is usually made of a metal oxide, which includes another metal. When charging, lithium ions and electrons move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode, and the electrical energy will be “stored” as electrochemical potential energy. This occurs through a series of chemical reactions in the electrolyte, which are driven by the electric energy flowing in the charging circuit. During the use of the battery, lithium ions flow from the positive side to the negative side through the electrolyte in the opposite direction, while the electrons provide kinetic energy for the electronic equipment through the circuit system of the electronic equipment installed in the battery. < / P > < p > in recent years, researchers have improved the positive and negative electrode materials of lithium-ion batteries to improve the capacity and energy density of lithium-ion batteries, but at present, it is most necessary to reduce the cost of lithium-ion batteries. < / P > < p > we hope that the battery function of some electronic portable devices will be improved in the next few years, which will improve people’s quality of life. According to morrow paster, a materials scientist at Oxford University in the UK, the development of chemical technology has been stagnant 35 years ago. It is reported that pastora is the project leader of the Faraday Institute of Oxford University, who is responsible for the development of a new generation of lithium-ion battery technology. His goal is to increase the energy density of lithium-ion batteries, while improving their efficiency, so that the battery will not be reduced by repeated charging and discharging. < / P > < p > in order to achieve this, paster is committed to using solid materials made of ceramics to replace the extremely flammable electrolyte liquid in lithium-ion batteries. The use of solids can reduce the risk of electrolyte combustion in short-circuit or unstable conditions. Mobile phone mobile phone in 2017, Samsung mobile phone battery failure occurred after the fire incident, immediately convened 2 million 500 thousand Galaxy Note 7S mobile phones, solid replace traditional electrolyte for future security of mobile phones is very important, because most of the portable electronic products polymer gel electrolyte is flammable. < / P > < p > this kind of solid-state battery can also use dense lithium metal instead of graphite cathode, thus greatly increasing energy storage, which may have a profound impact on the future electric vehicles. < / P > < p > at present, the electric power of each electric vehicle is equivalent to thousands of iPhone batteries. According to expert analysis, in the next few years, electric vehicles will gradually replace fossil fuel vehicles in most countries, and the revolutionary transformation to solid-state batteries means that the charging duration is longer. < / P > < p > we hope that batteries will be widely used in electrical equipment and portable electronic devices in the next few years. Should we look for alternatives to lithium batteries to reduce their impact on the environment? < / P > < p > the “lithium triangle” of the Andes, including parts of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, contains more than 50% of the world’s lithium metal natural resources, but extracting lithium from saline alkali land requires water, and it is a large amount of water. It is reported that in Chile’s Atacama salt marsh area, about 1 million liters of water is needed for each 900 kg of lithium metal extracted. It involves dissolving metal rich salts in water gradually, filtering and then evaporating until pure lithium salt is extracted. However, Chile’s Environmental Protection Agency warned that the mining of lithium and copper in the region consumes much more water than natural precipitation. < / P > < p > to solve this problem, researchers at karlsruhr Institute of technology in Germany are studying how to use different metals, such as calcium or magnesium, in the positive electrode of batteries. Calcium is the fifth largest element in the earth’s crust, and it is unlikely that there will be a supply problem like lithium. However, the research on the improvement of battery performance by using calcium is still in its infancy. Magnesium also shows encouraging initial results, especially in terms of energy density, and has good business prospects. < p > < p > in recent years, some scientists are actively looking for more easily available materials to replace lithium metal. Hu liangbing, director of the center for materials innovation at the University of Maryland, has used porous wood chips as electrodes to create a battery in which metal ions react to generate charges. Wood stock is abundant, low cost, light weight, showing high performance potential in battery applications. At present, the latest battery developed for many years can use wood to store electric energy, including tin coating on wood fiber. As wood used to be a woody plant, it can permeate and transfer nutrients. Therefore, the electrode made of wood has the ability to store metal ions, and will not have the risk of expansion or contraction like lithium-ion batteries. < p > < p > although Hu liangbing’s research team predicted that wood-based batteries could be used in portable electronic devices and large-scale energy storage in the future, this technology is still unable to charge laptops and is still being tested and verified in the laboratory. At present, the charging speed of wood battery is relatively fast. After 100 times of charging, an electronic device equipped with wood battery can only maintain 61% of the initial capacitance. < / P > < p > at present, the width and length of wood materials used for batteries are only a few centimeters, but in the future, batteries can be stacked or connected together to achieve larger scale applications, which will eventually be used for energy storage in homes or other buildings. In fact, lithium is not the only metal used in modern batteries. Most batteries still use Cobalt and lithium in the negative electrode. However, cobalt mining will produce toxic substances, which pose a health threat to the residents near the mining area and seriously damage the ecological environment. At present, some African countries use child labor to mine cobalt, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which owns more than 50% of the world’s Cobalt resources. < / P > < p > “it is a common phenomenon in Congo that almost every miner takes his children to dig lithium mines.” Said Jody rutkenhaus, a chemical engineer at Texas A & M University. This phenomenon inspired her to use protein to develop a substitute for “blood battery”. Protein is a complex molecule made and used by organisms. The positive electrode of the battery is usually made of graphite, while the negative electrode is made of metal oxides containing cobalt and other elements. If both active electrodes can be replaced by organic materials, it means that there will be no need to exploit large amounts of cobalt for making electricity in the future Pool. < / P > < p > it is reported that Jody and her colleague Karen Woolley have jointly developed a protein battery, which is the first battery in the world to degrade itself in acid, which means it is easy to decompose and reuse. < / P > < p > although the protein battery is still in the concept validation stage, it can not compete with the lithium-ion battery. Before being scrapped, the protein battery can be recharged 50 times to provide 1.5 V power supply, but this is an exciting design, which confirms that the new battery will have sustainable application in the future. < / P > < p > at present, an innovative team not only finds a new way to provide power from batteries, but also solves the problem of food waste. Vincent Gomes, a chemical engineer at University of Sydney in Australia, is turning the world’s most smelly fruit durian and jackfruit’s largest fruit jackfruit into a super capacitor, which can charge mobile phone, tablet computer and laptop computer in a matter of minutes. < / P > < p > “my wife couldn’t stand the stench. She put durian in the refrigerator for one night and then took out the remaining durian.” Gomes quipped. < / P > < p > supercapacitors are another way to store energy. They are like reservoirs that charge quickly and then release energy during an explosion. They are often made of expensive materials such as graphene. But Gomes’s research team has turned the durian and jackfruit food into a carbon aerogel porous ultra light solid structure with special natural energy storage characteristics.
heated durian or jackfruit, freeze-dried, and then spongy core structure in the fruit can not be eaten at the oven temperature above 1500 degrees Celsius baking, eventually these black, high porous, ultra light structure can be made into low-cost supercapacitor electrodes. < / P > < p > the super capacitor takes only 30 seconds to charge and is applied to many electrical equipment. “It’s incredible to be able to charge your phone in less than a minute,” shabnan said! These are super renewable energy sources and our goal for home use. ”
in addition, durian and jackfruit as super capacitors are also environmentally friendly. Due to the special smell of the fruit, more than 70% of the world’s pomegranate is used.