We all are familiar with the standard lithium-ion batteries which are used in a variety of appliances in our daily life. They involve the use of lithium compounds as electrodes. Lithium and similar elements used in such applications are not easily available and mining and extraction of lithium consume a lot of energy which in turn adds to the carbon footprint of the battery manufacturing cycle. Also recycling lithium releases a lot of carbon dioxide into the air which in turn causes a lot of pollution.
Scientists at the Rice University of New York and US Army Research Laboratory have designed a battery that uses Purpurin-a derivative of the madder root which is used in fabric dyeing. Madder roots have been used as a coloring agent for 3000 years and can provide orange, red, and pink hues when used in different proportions.
An extract of the dye-Purpurin is said to have properties similar to lithium electrodes such as carrying carbonyl and hydroxyl groups in the process of electrolysis. In standard batteries, the electrodes are immersed in an electrolytic solution and ions move from one electrode to the other creating a current. This current comes out of the electrode panels of the battery to run our appliances.
The core compound used here is chemically lithiatedPurpurin (CLP-where Purpurin is treated with lithium salts to create a material for the electrode) which is derived from the madder root. The project is being worked upon and it would take some more years for it to be made for commercial uses. However, it can for sure to reduce our dependence on Lithium and cobalt metals for batteries and would also reduce the carbon footprint of the battery manufacturing cycle. Do watch out this space for more news on the Green Battery.
Anny spent most of her time dwelling on useful things, and she drives all her research visible through her articles. Most of her unique and challenging topics include product reviews and descriptions of eco-friendly products and technologies.