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Silk could be new 'green' material for next-generation batteries

Date:
March 11, 2015
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Lithium-ion batteries have enabled many of today's electronics, from portable gadgets to electric cars. But much to the frustration of consumers, none of these batteries last long without a recharge. Now scientists report the development of a new, 'green' way to boost the performance of these batteries -- with a material derived from silk.
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Lithium-ion batteries have enabled many of today's electronics, from portable gadgets to electric cars. But much to the frustration of consumers, none of these batteries last long without a recharge. Now scientists report in the journal ACS Nano the development of a new, "green" way to boost the performance of these batteries -- with a material derived from silk.

Chuanbao Cao and colleagues note that carbon is a key component in commercial Li-ion energy storage devices including batteries and supercapacitors. Most commonly, graphite fills that role, but it has a limited energy capacity. To improve the energy storage, manufacturers are looking for an alternative material to replace graphite. Cao's team wanted to see if they could develop such a material using a sustainable source.

The researchers found a way to process natural silk to create carbon-based nanosheets that could potentially be used in energy storage devices. Their material stores five times more lithium than graphite can -- a capacity that is critical to improving battery performance. It also worked for over 10,000 cycles with only a 9 percent loss in stability. The researchers successfully incorporated their material in prototype batteries and supercapacitors in a one-step method that could easily be scaled up, the researchers note.

The authors acknowledge funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China.


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Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jianhua Hou, Chuanbao Cao, Faryal Idrees, Xilan Ma. Hierarchical Porous Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Nanosheets Derived from Silk for Ultrahigh-Capacity Battery Anodes and Supercapacitors. ACS Nano, 2015; 150225094419006 DOI: 10.1021/nn506394r

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American Chemical Society. "Silk could be new 'green' material for next-generation batteries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150311124431.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2015, March 11). Silk could be new 'green' material for next-generation batteries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150311124431.htm
American Chemical Society. "Silk could be new 'green' material for next-generation batteries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150311124431.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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