Monthly Archives: December 2019

Virus Batteries and other links for 2019 week 52

Viruses breathe new life into batteries – Physics World

Better batteries through biology – YouTube

Biologically enhanced cathode design for improved capacity and cycle life for lithium-oxygen batteries – Nature Communications

About 10 years ago, this virus battery made some headlines. It didn’t die, the paper has been cited a hundred times in the intervening time. But it’s not something you’re going to find in your next cell phone or next year’s electric vehicle. So what would make this kind of battery so awesome, and why are viruses even relevant? It’s not the biological properties of the virus, it’s the chemical properties. It has the right surface to grow the Manganese oxide, and it has the right dimensions to make nanorods.

Synthesis of manganese oxide nanorods and its application for potassium ion sensing in water

Probably a chemical method could be developed to synthesize things with the right surface and dimensions in bulk. Non-templated growth is possible though I imagine it would be very hard to get the exact properties right.

Bacteriophage Production Models: An Overview

But if you did need to develop a ton of bacteriophage to use as a battery material, how would you do it? That reminds me of bacteriophage therapeutics. Medicine faces the same problem: how to grow a ton of phage without bacterial garbage contamination. A recent review talked about the production of phage. The biggest reactor they found was 8L (about 2 gallons).

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Favorite Links for Week 50 2019

‘Clerks’ added to National Film Registry, bringing N.J. stoners to Library of Congress

The film “Clerks” has a bit about “the perfect dozen” that still cracks me up after 25 years. It reminds me of David Graeber’s STRIKE! Magazine – On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs.

Electric Vehicle Powered by Homemade Rechargeable Iron/Carbon Battery – YouTube

Cool! Here’s an all iron rechargeable battery that is simpler than mine and can run a small toy car. I love to see this kind of thing.

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Favorite Links for Week 49 2019

“Water-in-salt” electrolyte enables high-voltage aqueous lithium-ion chemistries

Wow. OK, this is a tour de force. Some of the experiments are pretty typical battery research (voltammetry, discharge curves, etc.). This group went farther and did molecular dynamics and density functional theory analysis of the chemistry happening during the charging process. They do 17O NMR to look at the electrolyte and water. They do XPS and etch and do XPS again to look at the depth profile of the chemistry. If you want to know what’s happening in a battery, here’s how to do it.

OK, stuff that’s not really science below.

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