Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Consumer Technology

Green Lithium Batteries Powered by Genetically Engineered Virus

Researchers at MIT have managed to genetically engineer viruses so that they can build rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in the form of a plastic film. These new batteries could then be used in anything from cellphones to iPods to the rechargeable batteries in plug-in electric hybrid cars.

As an added bonus, the batteries can be constructed in an environmentally-friendly manner, avoiding toxic solvents and energy-intensive procedures:

“Because the viruses are living organisms, we had to use only water-based solvents, no high pressures and no high temperatures,” says Angela Belcher, a materials scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and a study coauthor.

Previously, the MIT research team developed a virus that could self-assemble into the negative end of a battery (the anode) by coating itself with cobalt oxide and gold. In a very similar manner, the new virus coats itself with iron phosphate and silver, creating the positive end of a battery (the cathode).

By engineering viruses to self-assemble into the anode and cathode ends of a battery, these new lithium batteries will also be able to be shaped into non-traditional forms using micro-contact printing.

The viruses used in this process are known as bacteriophages (a type of virus that infects species of bacteria), ensuring that the genetic engineering affects a type of virus benign to humans.

Image: © Zoom-zoom | Dreamstime.com

[social_buttons]

 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
 

Advertisement
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

Amiel is the founder of the Globalis Group, an organization whose motto is "combining action and thought for a sustainable world." His experience includes working with the Canadian government on greenspace projects, sustainable development programs and on policy documents on issues as diverse as climate change, sustainable development, and the environmental and social impacts of transportation. He is listed on the UN’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory’s list of GHG experts, and has sat on the Canadian Environmental Certifications Board’s Greenhouse Gas Verification and Validation Certification committee.

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Batteries

The new Australian Lithium Alliance is a joint venture between Zenith, a mineral mining and exploration company, and EV Metals Group. Australian Resources noted...

Fossil Fuels

With special treatment, minerals called zeolites — commonly found in cat litter — can efficiently remove the greenhouse gas from the air, researchers report....

Clean Transport

In what is believed to be a world first, we have produced lithium at pilot scale from the mica in granite at our new...

Batteries

Scientists astounded by performance of sustainable batteries with far-reaching implications for electric vehicles and devices. Researchers at Bristol have developed high-performance sodium and potassium...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.