Tech is moving in a greener direction, and that's a great thing for the world at large. After all, we will all be part of the earth one day, so we might as well take care of it now, right? One of the biggest advancements in Eco-technology to surface in some time is the concept of a wooden battery.
A battery made entirely from wood is what researchers from the Energy Research Center at the University of Maryland in College Park are working on. A wooden battery might seem like a bad joke, but it's actually a new type of technology that could drastically help the planet.
A Wooden Battery? You Read That Right!
If you're picturing a hunk of wood that's hooked up to all kinds of wires IV-style, you're far off base. While that type of setup might seem logical, it's not the look that the team of Maryland researchers is going for. Instead, these batteries are actually comprised of wood fibers - microscopic ones. These fibers are then pressed and meshed into thin sheets, coated with carbon nanotubes, and stuffed into metal coatings or disks.
These batteries are also unique in that they don't use lithium ions - they are sodium ion-powered instead. Why sodium? As researchers discovered, sodium ions and wood work well together. Researchers are hoping that the wooden batteries will be capable of storing wind and solar energy in the future. Plus, wood is cheap (and so is sodium), so it's a winning combination.
Right Now: A Prototype
As exciting as a wooden battery is, the new technology hasn't been completely developed or finished yet. Researchers still have a lot to perfect in regards to the battery, but it's a promising effort all the same. Batteries are bad for the environment. That's a fact. Why? The metals contained in batteries can be harmful to the earth if they are not contained or disposed of properly.
Further, it takes a whole lot of toxic metals to create one cellphone battery, and those metals aren't great for the earth either. So, a wooden battery that is environmentally friendly, inexpensive to produce, and doesn't rely on harsh metals is something very worth of note. The reality is, though, that we rely on batteries every day. Batteries are what power our devices, and most of us can't live without those devices. Want to help the environment now?
A Better Battery
Aim for rechargeable batteries. While the rechargeable sort are still made from those hazardous materials, these batteries go through various life cycles, so they cut back on waste significantly. Also, if (and when) you are going to dispose of your batteries, make sure to do so properly. These small steps will greatly help the world out while we wait for wooden battery technology.
You can find out more about the new wooden battery project by checking out the NPR website or by heading to the University of Maryland website in order to see additional research notes (you may have to do some digging). A wooden battery? You bet!