Friday, September 30

Crabs: raw materials for future batteries? | Digital Trends Spanish

A true revolution in battery construction is taking place in the scientific world, since in a Article published this week in the journal Matter, researchers say they have made a biodegradable battery with a substance found in crab and lobster shells.

Unlike the traditional ones made with lithium and lead, this new one wants to take advantage of organic material from these crustaceans.

Crabs and lobsters have a material in their exoskeletons called chitin, which helps keep their shells hard and strong. Chitin can also be converted into a derivative called chitosan, which the researchers combined with zinc to create a new electrolyte substance to power a battery that they say is still almost completely energy efficient after 400 hours of use. Also, unlike traditional battery electrolytes, this crab battery will break down in the ground in about five months, leaving behind zinc, which can be recycled.

“In the future, I hope that all battery components will be biodegradable,” said in a press release lead author Liangbing Hu, director of the Center for Materials Innovation at the University of Maryland. “Not only the material itself, but also the biomaterial manufacturing process.”

Chitin can also be found in the walls of fungi and parts of squid.

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