Robots & Machines

Soft batteries made from trees to power cars and clothes

Mark ParkerMay 29th 2015
  • The battery material, which is created by breaking tree fibres down to form nanocellulose, takes the form of a wood-based aerogel that is foam-like in appearance and highly elastic.
  • The aerogel is made by breaking down tree fibres so they are a millionth of their original size, a process that produces nano cellulose. Then comes the process of removing the water from the material, which must be done without allowing it to enter a liquid state.
  • The aerogel also enables the batteries to have a 3D structure, providing far more storage capacity in a smaller space.The material’s structure gives it a very high surface area for its size; a cubic decimetre of the aerogel would cover most of a football pitch if spread out flat.

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