Nature-Inspired Batteries Made of Pollen


Hello, this is Monica Simeonova and
welcome to the Eatglobe newsroom in Varna. All portable electronics use batteries and most of them use the rechargeable lithium-ion ones. The anode, or the negative charge inside the battery,
is usually made of graphite which unlike other common conductors,
like metals, does not corrode away in the liquid-based electrolyte inside the battery. However, graphite does not appear
to be the optimal anode material as it has low operating voltage, could be hazardous
and is not a renewable resource. Therefore, the scientists have devoted their efforts to find another anode material
which can improve the batteries. The Purdue University researchers,
however, found the answer in nature. During pollination season,
plants produce large amounts of allergenic pollen, which besides making people sneeze,
appears in could also be used in batteries. The scientists found that when pressed
under high temperature and then activated, the polled yields pure carbon,
which makes it a practical conductor just like graphite. The main downside of the pollen batteries,
however, will be their long charge time of approximately 10 hours for a full load, compared to just two or three hours
for a typical graphite lithium-ion battery. Also, if produced on an industrial scale,
their costs has still to be estimated. Until then, the Purdue University researchers
can, at least, be sure that they found a solution
which will make people love pollen. This was all for today
but if you’re curious to find out more, please visit Eatglobe.com
Thank you for watching.

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