Eco-Friendly Battery is Powered with Seeds and Pine Resin

First Posted: Sep 30, 2014 06:47 AM EDT

Scientists may have just created a new eco-friendly battery. They've used materials from alfalfa and pine resin in order to create a new battery that could potentially replace present-day lithium batteries.

"We think our discovery can open several doors to more environment-friendly, energy-efficient solutions for the batteries of the future," said Daniel Brandell, one of the researchers.

Lithium-ion batteries are promising for various products, including electric vehicles and large-scale energy storage. Yet present-day batteries have a few issues when it comes to the environment; the world's commercially extracted lithium resources are limited, and it's difficult to recover lithium from the inorganic materials used to make modern batteries.

Yet now, scientists may have taken strides when it comes to creating a new battery. They've based the new battery on the idea of recovery and renewable biological material with an energy content corresponding to that of current lithium-ion batteries.

"The use of organic materials from renewable sources makes it possible to solve several of the problems that would arise from a huge rise in the use of lithium batteries," said Brandell in a news release. "But above all, it's a major step forward that, to a high degree and in a simple, environment-friendly way, the lithium from these batteries can be recovered. These solutions are also potentially very cost-effective."

The new battery is capable of delivering as much as 99 percent of the energy output from the first. This is extremely promising, and scientists hope that with future modifications, they can raise this figure even higher.

Currently, the scientists are planning on continuing to improve this battery based on the concept of renewable resources. In the future, it could potentially replace lithium-ion batteries and could help power a range of electronic and other devices.

The findings are published in the journal ChemSusChem.

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