New batteries will work on vitamins

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 30.05.2018

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16 September 2016, 09:00

At the University of Toronto, a team of chemists developed a completely new type of battery that can work on vitamins. With the help of genetically modified fungi, scientists produced yarn of vitamin B2, from which they developed a high-capacity battery.

According to the characteristics of the new battery can be compared with lithium-ion batteries, which are currently used and have a voltage of 2.5V, but instead of the usual lithium, which is used in these batteries as a cathode, scientists used flavin from the threads of vitamin B2.

According to scientists, they could not find molecules suitable for all parameters that could be used in consumer electronics for a long time, but eventually they managed to do it. Natural materials interested scientists not by chance, and one of the researchers Dwight Seferos noted that if you take initially complex material, it will take much less time to produce new material.

In Harvard, scientists conducted a similar experiment and included vitamin B2 in the battery, but in Toronto they said that the model they developed is the first of its kind and uses polymer molecules (long chain) in one of the electrodes. As a result, such a battery efficiently accumulates energy not in metals, but in plastic, less toxic and easier to process.

During a long study of various long-chain polymers, chemists managed to create a new material. According to Seferos, organic chemistry can be compared with the Lego constructor - the details are arranged in a certain order, but sometimes it happens that everything should converge on paper, but in reality the details do not fit together, the same process can be observed in chemistry with molecules. Long-chain polymers are molecules that attach to the main chain of long molecules.

The researchers themselves noted that they had only succeeded in putting their "designer" together since the fifth time, when, after combining long-chain molecules and two units of the flavin, a new cathode material was obtained, satisfying all the needs of scientists.

Vitamin B2 is necessary for the accumulation of energy in the body, it is also capable of reacting, this is the property that interested scientists, since this makes vitamin B2 an excellent option for use in battery-type batteries.

Seferos explained that vitamin B2 can simultaneously take up to 2 electrons, has a high throughput, compared to other polymers whose properties have been studied, and can carry several charges. Now scientists are trying to find new variations of material that could be recharged several times.

Now the first sample of a new battery has the dimensions of a battery from conventional hearing aids, but experts hope that their thin, flexible and more energy-efficient batteries can compete with traditional batteries with metal content. Also, scientists noted that flavin-based technology will help in the future to develop transparent versions of batteries.

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