Nav: Home

Dangerous wild grass will be used in batteries

August 26, 2019

Hogweed, which has grown over vast territories of Russia, can be useful as a material for batteries. Scientists from NUST MISIS have investigated the possibilities of fibrous substances in the plant stems. They have turned them into electrodes -- elements of devices capable of storing energy. It was experimentally proven that the treated dangerous plant can successfully replace traditional sources of energy without compromising the quality of the batteries.

Supercapacitors are storage devices. They are distinguished from traditional batteries by their high power, long shelf life, and long service life. Such properties are partly explained by the fact that activated carbons with a highly developed surface with a large number of pores of different sizes, act as the electrode material. These pores provide an increase in the area of the electrodes, on which the maximum volume of the accumulated charge directly depends. Scientists are currently trying to receive carbon materials from various plant raw materials, especially from agricultural waste -- from the coconut, almond and walnut shells, husk remaining after cereal processing, etc.

Researchers from NUST MISIS have suggested that the optimal electrode properties can be found in hogweed stems. They consist of a firm bark and a soft inner core, similar to a sponge, forming a diverse porous structure. This design is effective for using carbon material as the basis of electrodes for supercapacitors. In order to turn hogweed stalks into a material suitable for use as electrodes, it was necessary to find the optimal processing technology for them.

The dry stalks of the hogweed were cut into bars about a centimeter long. Then, to remove various inorganic compounds contained in the stems, they were treated with hydrochloric acid, washed and dried. To obtain a carbon material, crushed hogweed stems were saturated with carbon dioxide at a temperature of 400 ° C. In the next stage, the obtained material was mixed with potassium hydroxide and activated, that is, the appeared pores were opened in an argon atmosphere at various temperatures.

Processing the primary carbon material at a temperature of 900° ? led to the formation of a surface with a large number of pores 2-4 nm in size.

"The main parameter of the supercapacitor is capacity, which means a measure of the ability to accumulate an electric charge, -- Oleg Levin, associate professor at the Department of Electrochemistry of St. Petersburg State University, explained. -- The capacity obtained from hogweed stems is at the same level as the one obtained from the other materials. Of course, when using, for example, graphene, it will be higher. However, the use of plant waste material for the production of active carbon is without a doubt a global trend. From this perspective, the work of scientists is promising and deserves attention".

However, the leader of the project, the head of the Department of Physical Chemistry at NUST MISIS Professor Mikhail Astakhov emphasizes that the use of hogweed stems for the production of electrodes on an ongoing basis may encounter great difficulties. Indeed, to obtain raw materials you will have to travel all over the country, cutting down the plant and taking it to the enterprise, since it is unreasonable to create sown areas for a dangerous wild plant. Sooner or later, the reserves of the "wild" hogweed may run low. In this case, the technology created for its processing will simply not be needed.

On the other hand, at present, areas covered by powerful hogweed that inhibits the development of other seeds that have fallen into the soil are only increasing.
-end-


National University of Science and Technology MISIS

Related Science Articles:

75 science societies urge the education department to base Title IX sexual harassment regulations on evidence and science
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today led 75 scientific societies in submitting comments on the US Department of Education's proposed changes to Title IX regulations.
Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.
Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science.
Applied science may yield more translational research publications than basic science
While translational research can happen at any stage of the research process, a recent investigation of behavioral and social science research awards granted by the NIH between 2008 and 2014 revealed that applied science yielded a higher volume of translational research publications than basic science, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xueying Han from the Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA, and colleagues.
Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.
World Science Forum 2017 Jordan issues Science for Peace Declaration
On behalf of the coordinating organizations responsible for delivering the World Science Forum Jordan, the concluding Science for Peace Declaration issued at the Dead Sea represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.
PETA science group promotes animal-free science at society of toxicology conference
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science and Public Engagement
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.
Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, pharma, and biopharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.
Three natural science professors win TJ Park Science Fellowship
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.
More Science News and Science Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Risk
Why do we revere risk-takers, even when their actions terrify us? Why are some better at taking risks than others? This hour, TED speakers explore the alluring, dangerous, and calculated sides of risk. Guests include professional rock climber Alex Honnold, economist Mariana Mazzucato, psychology researcher Kashfia Rahman, structural engineer and bridge designer Ian Firth, and risk intelligence expert Dylan Evans.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#540 Specialize? Or Generalize?
Ever been called a "jack of all trades, master of none"? The world loves to elevate specialists, people who drill deep into a single topic. Those people are great. But there's a place for generalists too, argues David Epstein. Jacks of all trades are often more successful than specialists. And he's got science to back it up. We talk with Epstein about his latest book, "Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World".
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dolly Parton's America: Neon Moss
Today on Radiolab, we're bringing you the fourth episode of Jad's special series, Dolly Parton's America. In this episode, Jad goes back up the mountain to visit Dolly's actual Tennessee mountain home, where she tells stories about her first trips out of the holler. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad's first visit to his father's childhood home, and opens the gateway to dizzying stories of music and migration. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.