Durian May Soon be The Best Battery for Electric Vehicles and Gadgets
Believe it or not, there is a fruit by the name of Durian that is actually banned from being transported through cabs and taxis in several countries because of its terrible smell. That being said, the fruit has a commendable nutritional value and as per a recent study, might just be the best possible material for lightning-fast electric charging for gadgets and electric vehicles alike.
Termed as the world’s smelliest fruit, Durian was recently a part of a research conducted by Vincent G. Gomes, an associate professor at the University of Sydney, that looked at the possibility of extracting the fruit’s biowaste for ultra-quick and highly efficient electric chargers.
The new scientific paper co-authored by Gomes and published in the Journal of Energy Storage uses the fruit’s guts as an element for supercapacitors to store vast amounts of energy. For those not aware of this, supercapacitors are high capacity capacitors that are able to accept and deliver charge much faster than typical batteries and have a longer life than them too.
In his paper, Gomes specifically talks about using electrochemical supercapacitors or “electrical double layer capacitors.” Though much better than batteries, such supercapacitors are very costly to make. Gomes and his team now offers a solution to that through the organic waste generated from the fruit.
How does it work?
Gomes and his team synthesized a carbon aerogel (just like silica packets) from the pulp of the durian and the jackfruit. Being highly porous and having a high absorbing power, the aerogel, when used in supercapacitors, is able to store a high amount of energy.
Gomes explains in his paper, “The fibrous, fleshy portions of organic wastes with good mechanical stability were considered as candidate precursors compared to hard, dense ones. The waste fruit cores of durian (Durio zibethinus) and jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) were selected as candidates based on their structures and their prospect of intrinsic nitrogen doping.”
Integrated properties of the fruit like “high surface area, in-plane conductivity and interfacial active sites” further helped with the facilitation of “electrochemical reactions, ionic diffusion and high charge carrier density.” In short, faster charging and larger energy storage as compared to a traditional battery.
This is one of the novel ways in which supercapacitors are being used to replace batteries in gadgets and electric vehicles. A team of scientists recently used supercapacitors made of protein nanowires that can generate electricity out of moisture in the air. Know all about the one-of-its-kind invention here.