In a quiet street in India, when the power goes out, an ATM continues to function, thanks in part to burned cotton. PJP Eye, a Japanese company, has developed backup batteries containing carbon derived from carefully burned cotton, providing a sustainable solution.
The intricate process involves burning cotton at temperatures exceeding 3,000°C, generating carbon used in the anode of these innovative batteries. PJP Eye emphasizes the sustainability of their approach, utilizing cotton waste from the textile industry instead of conventional graphite.
As the demand for batteries surges due to the rise of electric vehicles and large-scale energy storage systems, companies like PJP Eye argue for exploring more sustainable and readily available materials. The use of cotton waste not only addresses environmental concerns but also showcases a commitment to eco-friendly energy solutions.
Collaborating with researchers from the University Kyushu of Fukuoka, Japan, PJP Eye's batteries challenge the norm by incorporating cotton-derived carbon into the anode, offering a promising alternative to the commonly used graphite. This approach aligns with the global push towards eco-conscious technologies.
Moreover, other companies, such as Goccia and Hitachi in Japan, are already integrating cotton-based batteries into electric bicycles, highlighting the practical applications of this technology. A bicycle powered by a PJP Eye battery, with a top speed of 50 km/h and a range of 70 km on a single charge, exemplifies the potential of these sustainable energy solutions.
Beyond cotton, companies like Stora Enso in Finland are exploring batteries with anodes made from lignin, a binding polymer found in trees. Additionally, researchers are investigating the use of cotton in electrolytes, potentially creating more stable solid-state batteries compared to current technologies.
While advancements are being made, challenges persist. An article in the Journal of Materials Chemistry discusses the potential of fluorine-ion batteries enabling electric vehicles to cover 1000 kilometers on a single charge. However, current fluorine-ion batteries face issues of low cyclability, posing a hurdle for widespread adoption.
The European Court of Auditors raises concerns about potential shortages of raw materials for batteries within the European Union. Interestingly, Portugal, with its abundant lithium reserves, is positioned as a viable solution. The country's renewable energy sources and comparatively low production costs make it an attractive hub for electric battery manufacturing projects.
Portugal aims to reach a capacity of 45 gigawatt-hours by 2030, sustaining this level until 2050. This ambitious goal highlights the nation's commitment to becoming a key player in the production of eco-friendly batteries, potentially steering the global shift towards sustainable energy solutions.