Batteries that Run on Blood?
using a biomolecule from blood to improve the efficiency of lithium-oxygen batteries
scientists are interested in the possibilities of lithium-oxygen batteries as a potential source for next-generation energy storage — especially for cars, computers and, possibly, homes — because they could store two to three times (some estimates say five to 15) as much energy (by weight) as current lithium-ion batteries. That means phone and computer charges could conceivably last for days or weeks instead of hours, and electric cars could match (or exceed) the range of those powered by gasoline (about 350 miles on average right now).
In lithium-oxygen batteries, one of the problems is that the chemical reaction that powers the battery creates by-products (such as lithium peroxide) that build up and bury the electrodes. Buried electrodes mean the battery can’t hold or take a charge.
The value of the heme biomolecule is that it seems to function as a better catalyst because of its ability to bind with oxygen, and prevent the build up of by-products. when used in the lithium-oxygen battery, heme dissolves into the battery’s electrolytes and improves the efficiency of the reduction-oxidation reaction (the chemical reaction that powers the battery).
Another important aspect of this research is its potential to make use of by-products that are currently wasted. According to the authors, using biomolecules extracted from natural supplies can theoretically address the global demand for sustainable and ubiquitous chemical catalysts. Recyclable bio-wastes (for example, blood waste, dietary trash, natural enzymes), may be employed for the environmentally friendly and cost-effective production of catalysts https://goo.gl/4iXw6B