United States – US chemists have developed a non-toxic and sustainable lithium-ion battery powered by purpurin, a special dye that has been extracted from the roots of the exotic rose madder plant since ancient times to serve as a simple textile colouring agent.
Chemists from The City College of New York have teamed up with researchers from Rice University and the US Army Research Laboratory in a bid to ‘help lay the foundation for an eco-friendly alternative’ to traditional lithium-ion batteries. Biologically-based colour molecules are pre-adapted to act as a battery electrode, states the team of experts. Purpurin molecules’ aromatic rings are rich in carbonyl and hydroxyl groups, making the plant well-equipped to pass electrons back and forth.
The team believes full commercial production of ‘green’ lithium-ion batteries is only a few years away. At present, roughly 30% of the cobalt produced globally is used to support battery technology, the scientists note.
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Source: The City College of New York