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New Breakthrough! Silk Powered Batteries Will Have 5 Times More Power

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Silk Powered batteries

During 200 BC, the Silk Route was formed for transporting goods from China to Europe. The name silk was derived as trading silk was very lucrative during that time and in Europe the demand for silk was at all time high. This Silk Route became a major catalyst of growth for China, India, Persia and Europe and a legend was born which is famous till date.

Silk is now again making a comeback, and this time, it’s becoming a catalyst for creating breakthrough battery technology; and surprisingly, the source in both the cases are same: Chinese.

What are Silk Powered Batteries?

A team of Chinese researchers from Research Center of Materials Science situated at the Beijing Institute of Technology have created a material from raw silk, which can replace graphite in present day Lithium Ion batteries. This new material can improve performance of batteries by 5 times.

Currently, Lithium Ion batteries are the norm everywhere as right from your smartphone to car batteries, portable radio, watches and all consumer goods use these batteries for powering themselves.

The biggest problem with these batteries is that they their recharge capacity is quite low and it takes considerable amount of time and resources to recharge them. As more and more content is being consumed, the demand for powerful batteries is increasing every day.

How It Works?

Four researchers from China: Jianhua Hou , Chuanbao Cao, Faryal Idrees , and Xilan Ma have published a paper wherein they have described the prototype of silk powered batteries.

When biomass derived natural silk is simultaneously activated and graphitized, then Hierarchical porous nitrogen-doped carbon (HPNC) nanosheets (NS) are formed; which has some amazing electro-magnetic storage power.

For instance, these HPNC nanosheets have high specific surface area (SBET: 2494 m2/g), high volume of hierarchical pores (2.28 cm3/g), nanosheet structures and rich N-doping (4.7%).

Silk powered batteries

When the researchers developed a lithium-ion battery anode and 2 electrode based super-capacitors, then the power displayed by this battery amazed everyone. 1865 mA h/g of reversible lithium storage (rechargeable) has been achieved, which is 5 times that of contemporary graphite based lithium-ion batteries.

The researchers have observed that this is “highest for N-doped carbon anode materials to the best of our knowledge”

Even after 10,000 cycles of recharging, this material shows only 9% loss in power, which is amazing to say the least.

This discovery can be termed as the next generation hybrid energy storage mechanism, which has the power to completely replace graphite based storage system in lithium-ion batteries.

This project has been backed by National Natural Science Foundation of China, under the jurisdiction of the Chinese Government.

You can find the complete research paper here.

Some of the breakthroughs in battery technology:

[Image Source: Shutterstock.com]

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