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).