These 4 organic batteries are about to leave the corrosive 'copper top' and that highly-annoying drumming pink bunny in the dust.
When it comes to free energy production, whether we're talking about solar power, wind turbines, tidal energy, or even the water vortex power plant - they all seem to have one thing in common: A need for batteries. All of these methods collect energy, which can be stored in batteries. The problem is that current battery technologies are made from toxic chemicals and discarded carelessly after they expire.
Organic batteries are essential for the sustainability of all technologies that use batteries, like the electric car, for example, and until we find a way to store energy in a sustainable way, even the 'green' energy producing methods will continue to erode our health, environment and the longevity of human existence.
History of Batteries
The first battery ever developed was by Italian physicist Alessandro Volta in 1800. (R) Volta's battery involved a stack of copper and zinc plates, separated by saltwater-soaked paper discs, which could produce a steady current for a considerable length of time. Apparently Volta thought the energy that came from his battery was inexhaustable, but later Michael Faraday showed later that the energy supply was finite and corrosion of the electrodes were an unavoidable consequence. (R)
Although batteries have evolved slightly since Volta's first prototype, from wet cells (R) to dry cells, which made them more practical, we are essentially still using battery technology that's over 200 years old!
All other technologies seem to evolve regularly, yet batteries remain a toxic and inefficient insult to human progress. Why? Could it be because inefficient batteries are more profitable? Of course it could.
I'm sure it would be difficult to find anybody who can't see through the profit motive by existing battery-producing companies to stifle progress towards better batteries.
The important question is: Has anybody been working towards producing safer and more efficient organic batteries?
As it turns out, scientists from many countries have been working on improving the safety and efficiency of batteries, but their work and progress is never broadcast to the public on mainstream media. Instead of celebrating real progress, the kind which empowers the individual, the noble efforts of scientists worldwide are mostly ignored. But no matter hard the existing system we are in tries, the truth will always resurface and prevail.
Below are 4 prototypes of organic batteries that may soon replace the corrosive and inefficient dinosaurs we see in stores.
4 Prototypes of Organic Batteries in Development
Daniel Abraham, scientist from the Argonne National Laboratory wrote, "If you want to come up with a truly organic sustainable battery made up of plant material, every component of the cell should be made from organic components, and that will make it truly eco-friendly and sustainable. That's the ultimate goal."
1. Taiwan: The World's First Chlorophyll Organic Battery
The world's first chlorophyll organic battery, was invented by Professor Chungpin Hovering Liao of National Formosa University in Taiwan. The battery can use any liquid - even urine - to power itself up. This new battery is so efficient that, after wetting it with your choice of liquid, it takes less than 10 seconds before the battery starts providing power.
According to Taiwan News, although Professor Liao's chlorophyll battery can only produce half the power of conventional batteries, it can store more energy than Japan's water-powered fuel cells, and cost a mere NT$1 to NT$2 (US$.03 to US$.06) to produce. Perhaps best of all, unlike conventional batteries, Professor Liao's chlorophyll batteries don’t contain any toxic substances.
Contact Professor Chungpin Liao for updates.
2. Malaysia: Student Creates 'Fermented' Organic Battery
Inspired by the digestive processes of a cow, 17-year-old Mohammad Dzarul Dol Malek has found a way to produce energy by fermenting plant cellulose. Using a carbon electrode and a zinc electrode, Mohommad was able to measure electrical charge in the solution after two weeks of fermentation. Of all the leaves tested, the plant that produced the highest voltage was Chromolaena odorata, an invasive plant available abundantly on his farm.
Now studying science and engineering in college in Malaysia, Mohommad hopes to someday patent an eco-friendly, locally sourced organic battery to replace conventional dry cell batteries that pollute the waste stream with mercury and other toxic materials.
3. United States: Organic Lithium Ion Battery
Researchers at Rice University in Houston, Texas have formulated a way to replace a costly metallic component in lithium-ion batteries with material from a common plant. Commonly used in today's lithium-ion batteries is a modified form of Cobalt, which is environmentally toxic and unsustainable. Rice researchers claim that the same task now accomplished by Cobalt, can be achieved by a plant dye extract almost as effectively.
The dye used for this research came from a small flowering plant called a madder, and scientists are now testing other plant dyes, in hopes of discovering one that is even more effective. With further development, this research could lead to a change in one of three main battery components: the cathode. This will increase the sustainability of battery production, and as lead researcher Leela Mohana Reddy said, "You don't have to do any mining. You just plant, and then you can turn it into a dye, and then into a battery material with simple chemistry at room temperature."
Contact Leela Mohana Reddy for updates.
4. Harvard Develops Game-Changing Organic Battery
Researchers at Harvard University have developed a battery that is 97% cheaper to produce than metal-containing batteries, and completely organic. The battery relies on small organic molecules called quinones, which are found abundantly in rhubarb and other green plants. Unlike the carbon-based molecules in conventional batteries, which hold only one unit of charge, quinones hold two molecules of charge, meaning a 2 fold increase in storage capacity potential.
“Imagine a device the size of a home heating oil tank sitting in your basement. It would store a day’s worth of sunshine from the solar panels on the roof of your house, potentially providing enough to power your household from late afternoon, through the night, into the next morning, without burning any fossil fuels.” – co-lead author Michael Marshak, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS and in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.
There are no challenges that human beings cannot overcome if we dedicate our time and effort consistently to a specific goal. Scientists from Harvard university and laboratories worldwide have been dedicating their time towards finding safer and more efficient organic batteries for a sustainable future. And they have been succeeding.
By increasing awareness of these organic batteries, humanity will move beyond existing battery technologies quickly and painlessly. It's time we move on from the ancient, corrosive, dangerous and inefficient battery until safe and efficient organic batteries are the norm.