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Unusual Places To Look For Battery Power

Extending electronic life and juicing up gadgets, batteries and power storage are vital to everyday life.

There are innovative designs that make batteries more efficient, but those are probably much different than the following scientific discoveries.

The world of technology has a covert side that one research team has found out. As discussed in New Scientist, behind our plugged-in gear lives a whole spectrum of life that can actually be used for power.

By gathering sea sediment and placing battery electrodes into it, researchers found that along with bacteria living cells will begin to appear. When combined with filaments, which are similar to wires, the bacteria and electrodes can form currents called microbial nanowires.

Unusual Places To Look For Battery Power

Image source: newscientist.com

These thin filaments are produced by some types of bacteria and can fire electronic activity from the wires to their surroundings. The researchers found that the bacterium actually grows onto the electrodes and is sustained by a diet of electricity.

Another interesting study published in the journal Nanotechnology looks to an even more unnatural source for storing electricity.

In this study, researchers concluded that the composition of used cigarette filters is ideal for energy storage. Their porous structure makes them suitable for turning into a carbon substance that can act as supercapacitors.

Cigarettes are largely formed from cellulose acetate fibers that can be converted into a carbon dense material by a burning process called pyrolysis. Once the filters are burned and combined with nitrogen they will produce pores.

The filters from smoked cigarette butts can be changed into a carbon material. Carbon is ideal for its electrical conducting ability and typically is used for mass storage supercapacitors. These can operate as electrical storage without having to rely on batteries, and electricity is distributed and stored until needed.

Approximately 5.6 trillion used cigarettes, or 766,571 metric tons of them, are discarded annually.

Unusual Places To Look For Battery Power

Image source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Joeb07

Cigarette filters are not biodegradable and contain highly toxic chemicals. This smart and unexpected use for a heavy environmental concern is a welcome scientific effort.

These clever research designs to fulfill our voracious thirst for access to electrical power are definitely interesting investigations.

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