Lithium-Ion Batteries Will Run On Silicone From Rice Husks

Lithium-Ion Batteries Will Run On Silicone From Rice Husks

By Shinji Tutoru

KOREA ADVANCED INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, DAEJEON, SOUTH KOREA. Almost every person nowadays owns an electronic device that uses lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) to store energy for it to function. Lithium-ion batteries with silicone anodes are known to have much greater energy-storing capacity as compared to graphite anodes. The only problem with the conventional lithium-ion batteries is when its full capacity fades due to everyday use which makes it inefficient overtime.

To address this problem with lithium-ion batteries, researchers produced high quality silicone out of rice husks. Rice is a very common food which feeds more than a third of the world’s total population. Rice growers produce about 422 million metric tons each year. At the same time, 20% of this rate is made up of the rice husks which are considered as a waste product. That is why rice husks are more commonly used in cheap items such as bed soil, stockbreeding rugs and fertilizer additives.

Aside from these uses, the researchers behind the study also believe that rice husks could be used for an even more valuable function. It produces about 15 to 20% natural silica which can be converted into silicon by just adding acid to it. Metallic impurities and other organic components are removed. Magnesium is then used to reduce silica into silicone. Finally, the silicon is coated with carbon before it is used in anodes in lithium coin cells.

Professor Jang Wook Choi from Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, South Korea and his colleagues from several Korean universities are working on the project. They were able to discover that anodes made from rice husk silicon had high coulombic efficiency and excellent discharge capacity retention. Does it mean we can expect longer and more efficient battery life for our electronic gadgets that run on lithium-ion batteries? If so, this will definitely change the way we see lithium-ion batteries forever.

Invention Silicone Anodes From Rice Husks
Organization Advanced Institute of Science & Technology
Researcher Professor Jang Wook Choi & Team
Field(s) Energy Storage, Sustainable energy, batteries, lithium-ion, carbon, South Korea, rice husks
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