1 Tahrcountry Musings: Virus Powered Batteries are On Its Way

Friday, April 03, 2009

Virus Powered Batteries are On Its Way

Virus powered batteries? Sounds a wee bit far fetched but it is true; they are in its way. A team of scientists from MIT in the US led by Professor Angela Belcher has come up with this seemingly impossible feat. Professor Belcher used viruses to build both the positively and negatively charged ends of a battery and it is working. A lithium-ion battery has been constructed, where generically engineered viruses were used to create the negatively charged anode and positively charged cathode. The beauty is that virus is harmless to humans.

The batteries have the capacity and performance of rechargeable batteries that is used to power plug-in hybrid cars. The prototype battery is the size of a coin but Professor Belcher believes that the technology developed can be used to create flexible batteries that can take the shape of their container. This meets the requirements of mobile and other small devices to a dot. Right now the virus battery can only be charged and discharged about 100 times, but Professor Belcher says improved versions with linger life are on its way.

Conservationists would be delighted to learn that the process to build the batteries uses no harmful or toxic materials. What we need is things like this, development of technologies that does not harm the environment. Tahrcountry salutes Professor Angela Belcher. Full details of the research appear in the journal Science

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