Volume 89 Issue 37 | p. 21 | Concentrates
Issue Date: September 12, 2011

Algae Gum Amps Li-Ion Batteries

Inexpensive natural binder compound boosts electrode performance
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Environmental SCENE, Materials SCENE
Keywords: Li-ion batteries, anode, electrode, silica, graphite, alginate

Lithium-ion battery technology may get a boost from a gummy substance commonly found in brown algae (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1209150). Traditional graphite electrodes in Li-ion batteries suffer from storage capacity problems and short lifetimes. Additionally, graphite electrodes are bound with toxic and environmentally unfriendly polyvinylidene fluoride, which further requires toxic solvents such as N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone. Scientists would like to replace graphite with silicon, which is cheap, plentiful, and has 10 times the theoretical charge capacity of . . .

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