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Wood battery developed at University of Maryland
Scientists at the University of Maryland have built a battery made of wood that is long-lasting and environmentally friendly. In an article published yesterday by the university, the battery is described as a sliver of wood coated by tin.

Although the battery tested is on a nano scale, the long term applications appear best suited to large scale projects. The low cost and common materials, coupled with the use of sodium instead of lithium, also make this type of battery better for the environment. One possible application is solar power, which requires the storage of huge amounts of energy at once.

According to Liangbing Hu, an assistant professor of materials science, wood was selected as a base material for the battery because of its flexible nature. Wood fibers are better able to withstand the swelling and shrinking that occurs during the charging and discharging process than stiffer materials. In addition, wood fiber was designed to carry mineral-rich water when the tree was alive so it is ideal for storing liquid electrolytes, making it not only the base, but an active part of the battery.

The team of researchers at UM found that their battery lasted through more than 400 charging cycles, making it one of the longest lasting nano-batteries. In the end, the wood ended up wrinkled but intact.



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