Tobacco Virus Can Extend The Lifespan Of Batteries

Scientists from the University of Maryland have found a potentially positive use for the often-shunned tobacco.

Scientists from the University of Maryland have found that the tobacco mosaic virus can potentially increase the storage capacity of batteries. The virus is known for being capable of destroying over a hundred different species of plants, but can make lithium batteries last ten times as long upon incorporation. This introduces a positive contribution for tobacco growers and users all over the world. Fast Company reports:

The idea is that TMV nanorods are bound to the electrodes in a lithium cell–without the need for any bonding agent–and automagically increase the surface area of the electrode.

This has all sorts of implications for mobile technology. Imagine every lithium battery in every mobile device you own lasting up to ten times longer. That would mean Apple’s new MacBook Airs could hang on in standby mode for 10 months, and Amazon’s Kindles may only require charging once every year. Smartphones could have useful call times extending up to a week, and as well as changing how we think about our tech this could have an eco upshot–you’d probably not leave your charger plugged in, sucking down vampire power as much as it does right now.

University of Maryland

Fast Company: “How the Future of Big Tobacco Could Be Tiny Lithium Batteries”

[via Consumerist]

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