Science and technology has made our life much simpler and definitely more comfortable. However, we cannot overlook the fact that there are numerous inventions that have had an adverse effect on the environment. In an attempt to ease the pressure on the environment, Nicholas Weadock and Liangbing Hu from the University of Maryland are developing eco-friendly wooden batteries.
Wooden Batteries Are the Next Big Thing
Alkaline batteries are known to have an adverse effect on the environment. Keeping this in mind, Nicholas Weadock and Liangbing Hu from the University of Maryland are developing wooden batteries using innate fibrous structures present in wood to stimulate charged particles and generate an electric current with the help of sodium ions.
The wooden batteries invented by these two gentlemen are made from wooden fibers that are one thousand times slimmer than a sheet of paper. These fibers are woven into thin sheets. A thin layer of tin is then used to coat the fibers to facilitate the flow of electric current through the device. Once coated, it is placed in a metal disk.
Traditional alkaline batteries have lithium. However, these wooden batteries will have sodium instead, since the chemical composition of both lithium and sodium are similar. These batteries are believed to prove advantageous in storing huge quantities of energy from natural sources such as the sun and the wind. However, in comparison to lithium, sodium is not very efficient at holding a charge. Hence, these batteries won’t be used in gadgets such as cell phones and laptops. Nicholas Weadock and Liangbing Hu hope to develop technology that will enable wooden batteries to hold a charge for a longer period, in the near future.
The one question on everyone’s mind – ‘Why wood’? Well, trees hold water that is rich in minerals. The duo felt that this made wood an ideal option for housing electrolytes in the liquid form, making them an important part of the battery. Besides, wood, tin, and sodium are available in abundance, a combination of these elements would prove to be more economical than the production of traditional batteries, in addition to being environment friendly.
A Better Change With Eco-Friendly Wooden Batteries
It is true that Science and technology have helped make our lives better by leaps and bounds. Scientists and inventors have realized the impact that some commodities have on the environment and are now directing their resources to come up with various eco friendly products such as the power-saving bulb, hand powered paper shredders and biodegradable USB drives, to name a few.
Businesses too, have started using eco friendly promotional items such as recycled paper notepads, customized reusable tote bags, desktop trays, and kitchenware made with recycled material, in support of the environment and as a method of advertisement. Small changes such as these can go a long way in making our planet a greener one.