Trash into Renewable Battery

Two European researchers have discovered a way to turn paper-making waste into a rechargeable battery cathode. The research could mean cheaper, sustainable batteries in the future, made from a renewable source.

The news gets a bit technical and scientific

The part of the battery where current flows out. The waste in this case is lignin, a compound stripped from wood in the paper making process. During the paper making process wood is chopped up and cooked to break it down. Once the wood is done cooking, a substance called brown liquor is left behind, which is full of lignin.  The researchres combined lignin from brown liquor with a polymer – a large molecule chain – called polypyrrole to form a battery cathode.


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