Seaweed could help create longer-lasting electric car batteries

[USA] At the moment lithium-ion batteries are what is being used to power the majority of our electronic devices, but is it ideal? There are probably better solutions out there that have yet to be discovered, and from what we’re seeing, scientists have come up with all kinds of different batteries that have yet to become commercial solutions.

In theory it has been suggested that lithium-sulfur batteries could actually be more ideal for powering electronics, given that they have twice the energy density and are cheaper to produce. The only problem is that sulfur dissolves, which means that your battery won’t last you as long as you would like, but researchers might have found an answer to that problem in the form of seaweed.

To be more specific, scientists have discovered that a derivative of red seaweed, carrageenan, can actually help to stabilize a lithium-sulfur battery and make it more practical for use in devices. The carrageenan is said to act as a binder/”glue” that helps to keep the battery’s active materials together and when reacting with the sulfur, it prevents it from dissolving.

This could help create batteries that could last thousands of charging cycles, which could mean that batteries end up lasting longer in terms of lifespan than what is offered at the moment. That being said, it will probably be a while before we see it commercialized as the researchers need to figure out how the derivative interacts with sulfur and if the process is reversible.

 

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