Scientists have discovered incredible properties in one of the components of the shell of crabs and crustaceans in general. A find that could revolutionize the battery market.
The nerfnerf of mobility is the battery. There are those of smartphones, connected watches, tablets, wireless accessories and those of electric cars. All these batteries have one thing in common, they are difficult to recyclerrecycler and components, such as lithiumlithium, are expensive. To address both ecological and cost concerns, researchers from the Center for Materials Innovation from the University of Maryland in the United States had the idea of using the shells of shellfishshellfishand in particular crabs, to create a battery.
Why shellfish? Because the solidsolid armor of crab and other crustaceans consists of chitinchitin. It is a biopolymer that is also found in the shell of some insectsinsects and even in the structure of mushroomsmushrooms. It is he who comes to strengthen their exoskeletonexoskeleton. This transformed substance is also already used under the name of chitosan for many applicationsapplications commercial. It is used, for example, in the form of diet pills. In reality, it doesn’t really work, but these pills would still have the advantage of being able to reduce the bad cholesterolcholesterol. As for the batteries, it is by modifying the chitosan by immersing it in a aqueous solutionaqueous solution d’acidacid acetic that scientists have transformed it into a gelgel. It’s this particular gel, mixed with zinczinc which can serve as a battery electrolyte.
Biodegradable in five months
During their experiments, the researchers were able to observe that with this type of mixed electrolyte, the battery had an energy efficiency which was maintained at 99.7%, even after 1,000 discharge recharge cycles, i.e. a durationduration of use of 400 cumulative hours for this prototype. So much for performance.
In terms of the ecological aspect, they also noticed that the battery could biodegrade almost completely after five months. Only the zinc residues remained which could be recycled. The same type of experiment had already been tested with a pile made of paper, as Futura had already reported.
In this case, the cell had completely biodegraded within a month. But these batteries animated by crustaceans also have other assets. They won’t overheat, ignite or pose a risk of explosion. Finally, and on condition that they are not made from lobster shell, their production cost is much lower than that of batteries Lithium-ionbatteries Lithium-ion. As Liangbing Hu, the director of the Mylance University research center explains in his communiquéchitosan can be obtained simply from wastewaste of seafood neglected on our table.