New submitter cartman writes "A substance found in brown algae, 'including the type which forms forests of giant kelp,' could be used to increase the storage capacity of batteries, according to scientists at Georgia Tech (abstract). The substance, called alginate, allows silicon particles in the anode to swell without damaging the anode, thereby increasing storage capacity of batteries by up to a factor of 10. 'The full potential of a silicon anode can't be exploited until researchers develop a matching cathode capable of handling the same amount of lithium ions. But even with existing cathodes, alginate-silicon anodes could increase the capacity of lithium-ion batteries by 30 to 40 percent, according to Yushin.'"
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