The wood fibers are first coated with single-walled carbon nanotubes to make them electrically conductive, and then with tin (Sn) so they behave as the battery's anode (Image: University of Maryland)
A closeup of the wood fibers used by the researchers in their sodium-ion battery (Image: University of Maryland)
Wood fibers are hollow, elongated cells that transport water and minerals, and are extremely soft compared to a normal substrate for a sodium-ion battery (Image: University of Maryland)
Li-ion batteries may be ok for your smartphone, but when it comes to large-scale energy storage, the priorities suddenly shift from compactness and cycling performance (at which Li-ion batteries excel) to low cost and environmental feasibility (in which Li-ion batteries still have much room for improvement). A new "wood battery" could allow the emerging sodium-ion battery technology to fit the bill as a long-lasting, efficient and environmentally friendly battery for large-scale energy storage.
Other Images from this Gallery