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Power Storage

MIT Made a Virus Make a Battery

Those crazy lab rats at MIT are attempting to radically diminish the cost of producing sophisticated nanotech cathodes and discount levitra rx anodes by enlisting viruses to do the hard work for them.

New lithium ion batteries are being designed with increasingly sophisticated cathodes and anodes that allow fast charge, controlled discharge, longer lifetimes and higher power densities. The problem is, as these components become more advanced, so too do the batteries. Which is why practical electric vehicles (now that they're feasible at all) seem to be generally out of drug levitra my price range.

The team at MIT genetically engineered viruses to excrete certain proteins. Those proteins then react with chemicals introduced to the environment to create complicated structures. Proteins are very good at directing compounds to follow link viagra for women create complicated life forms.

The viruses, in effect, pull the cheap canadian pharmacy needed compounds (gold and cobalt for the anode and iron phosphate and carbon for the cathode) into nanowires. Both the cathode and the anode for the battery were constructed by viruses, though the battery created is only big enough to power a calculator, the same technique could be used to make batteries for cars.

The best thing is, all you need is the viruses (which are easy enough to multiply exponentially in a lab) and the raw materials to create these sophisticated components. So the cost of advanced battery production could drop like a rock.

Unfortunately, the batteries being produced are not up to the standards of traditionally designed nanotech batteries. They can only go through about 100 cycles (vs. more than 1000 for today's batteries) before starting to lose their charge. Of course, the team is confident that they can direct the viruses more effectively and increase that number significantly.

This technique could also mean a more cost-effective way to build and best prices on viagra test new battery chemistries. The team is already experimenting with slightly different cathodes and anodes to wow)) purchase levitra online attempt to increase power density.

And so maybe soon viruses will be doing all our work for us.

Via GreenTechMedia


A Lighter, Faster-Charging Battery Could Be on Its Way

Lithium-ion batteries (specifically LiFePO4) are currently the viagra professional 100 mg great hope of electric cars, laptop computers and cell phones, but they have their drawbacks. They recharge and release energy slowly, and in order to store a lot of energy, they're heavy. Researchers at MIT think they have found the underlying problem with these batteries and how to fix it - possibly bringing a lighter, faster battery in the next couple of years.

Up until now, scientists have believed that charged lithium atoms were to blame for the battery performance - they moved slowly through the battery material on their way to deliver their charge. But now, researchers say the atoms themselves aren't to blame, but rather how the ions get into the nano-scale tunnels that deliver them to their destination.

They've come up with a lithium phosphate coating that pushes the the best place real viagra ions into the tunnels, where they then quickly make their way to the battery terminal. With this modification, a cell phone battery can charge in just 10 seconds. They imagine with this same boost, plug-in hybrids could fully charge in just five minutes.

Also, this new battery material wouldn't degrade as much through constant recharging, allowing smaller and lighter batteries to take the place of heavier ones. If this theory can be proved, the next step would be to herbal alternative to cialis come up with an amped up power supply that could deliver the electricity needed for the quick charging.

Two companies have already licensed the invention and because the material involved isn't new, this upgraded battery could be commercially available within two to three years.

via AFP


How To Store That Power

We seem to feature new ideas for methods of generating power every week on EcoGeek. Varieties of cialis soft tabs 100 mg methods for harnessing energy from wind, waves, and the sun are being investigated and developed by scientists and we like it cheap 25mg cialis inventors all over the globe. But many of these power sources are intermittent, compared to the steady output that is available from combustion of (most often) non-renewable fossil fuels.

One of the regular complaints from opponents of wind or solar power is that it is sporadic or unreliable. "The sun doesn't shine at night;" "The wind doesn't always blow when you need it;" and other complaints are leveled against renewable power systems. That doesn't mean they aren't useful, though. Instead, the grid needs to be better equipped to store that power when it is generated and then draw from it again when demand rises. It's part of the 21st century grid our power system will need.

Ars Technica has a story on power storage that is well worth reading. It looks at some of the theoretical options for power storage, as well as current technologies that are already in use.


MIT Prof Presents Liquid Battery As Solar Storage Solution

MIT is definitely a hot spot on the viagra generic canada map of green innovation. Besides making a major breakthrough in hydrolysis catalysis this past summer, MIT has delivered many good technology concepts lately, such as power-generating shock absorbers, solar race cars and even self-propelling fish farms, just to name a few. The latest MIT idea comes from its materials chemistry department, where a professor has demonstrated a new kind of battery.

A conventional battery consists of two solid metal electrodes immersed in an electrolyte that is touching them both. As they react over time, electrons travel through the electrolyte as well as through the load. This battery uses liquid electrodes instead. Three liquids are poured into a vessel – molten magnesium, molten antimony and an electrolyte. Due to their different densities, the three liquids naturally separate; the antimony settles to viagra femele the bottom, the electrolyte rests in between and the magnesium sits on top.

As the battery discharges, the molten metals react and slowly ionize, dissolving into the electrolyte solution. Thus, when discharged, the battery is mostly electrolyte, with only thin layers of metal remaining. When it is recharged, the magnesium ions are reduced and the antimony ions are oxidized – which, in this case, causes both the magnesium and viagra 10 mg antimony to go from ionic to metallic form. Thus, the recharged battery once again has thick liquid metal layers and a thin electrolyte layer.

This might not be more than an interesting chemistry experiment, were it not for the fact that such a liquid battery offers numerous advantages over conventional ones. The liquid metals and molten salt (used as the electrolyte) can absorb very high electrical currents – ten times higher than the best batteries we have today, according to the MIT professor heading the project. And the design of the battery allows it to be built quickly and cheaply (the team only used magnesium and antimony for the prototype - they have found better, cheaper materials to use for real-world versions, but are keeping the details quiet).

In other words, these batteries could be ideal for solar power storage. If so, they would be welcomed with open arms – solar proponents know that the biggest thing standing in the way of large, utility-scale solar power is the question of how it can be effectively stored. We don’t yet have any really promising answers to that question. Solar power can drive hydrolysis and generate hydrogen gas to be used as fuel, but it can be inefficient. Some have proposed to pump water up hills so that it can power turbines on the way down, but if you’re short on water, that isn’t the best option. And ultracapcitors are still a little way off.

MIT, keep ‘em coming.

Via MIT Tech Review


Urine Powered Battery – Too Good To Be True?

A number of how to get viagra no prescription tech blogs are reporting a humorous and green-sounding new battery technology: the NoPoPo Japanese battery that can be recharged by filling it up with… urine. Sounds great, right? Free electricity! The ultimate recyclable resource! Not only that, but this battery can run on any liquid – beer, tea, juice, coffee… even water!

That’s where I stopped to think. Water? Really? How does a battery “run” on water? Every now and then a video goes around showing some garage inventor who has managed to generate energy from water, or salt water, or something like that. Every time it’s proven to be a hoax. Because you just can’t create energy out of nowhere; to quote the Simpsons, we follow the laws of thermodynamics in this household.

So then how do these batteries work? Nearly all of the posts refer to the fact that “the liquid reacts with a mix of carbon and magnesium”. They also mention the fact that the battery can only be recharged a limited number of times. But if the liquid were the fuel, why would it be limited like that?

The best explanation I found was in a comment by “retired Chemistry Professor” on the blog Hexus. He pointed out that when the liquid is introduced it allows the cialis endurance magnesium to oxidize, thereby generating a current. As soon as the magnesium runs out, the battery is dead. In lieu of an official explanation of the technology from the NoPoPo people, this sounds the most plausible to me.

So is there value to this battery? Maybe a little. It claims to be made of environmentally benign materials. Also, whereas a regular battery slowly dissipates its charge no matter what, maybe this one would be able to “hibernate” in between liquid injections, thereby giving you the full potential of the magnesium inside. But the battery is only rated to give you 500 mAh (milliamp hours) – as opposed to 1700-3000 mAh in a normal alkaline battery – and it’s only powerful enough to run a small device like a clock or a radio (when’s the last time you even used a portable radio?).

Moral of the story – be skeptical when someone tells you something runs on water.

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