Trees to Power: Building Better Storage Devices

trees_to_power2Researchers are not only looking for alternative ways to generate energy, they’re also looking for alternative ways to store it. From ECS member Vilas Pol’s packing peanut batteries to innovative flow batteries; scientists are looking for a way to securely store and deliver clean energy to the grid.

Now, engineers from McMaster University are turning trees into energy storage devices that could potentially power everything from small electronic devices to electric vehicles. With any luck, this technology could be taken to large-scale grid applications.

This from McMaster University:

The scientists are using cellulose, an organic compound found in plants, bacteria, algae and trees, to build more efficient and longer-lasting energy storage devices or capacitors. This development paves the way toward the production of lightweight, flexible, and high-power electronics, such as wearable devices, portable power supplies and hybrid and electric vehicles.

Read the full article here.

“Ultimately the goal of this research is to find ways to power current and future technology with efficiency and in a sustainable way,” says Emily Cranston, lead author of the research. “This means anticipating future technology needs and relying on materials that are more environmentally friendly and not based on depleting resources.”

Lightweight, high-power density capacitors have the potential to solve many of society’s energy problems. Because of the mesh-like structure of the material used and potential to trap functional nanoparticles, this new development could very possibly be the start to better energy storage devices.

[Image: McMaster University]


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