Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
Earth Science Technology

Pollen-Based Electrodes Could Boost Battery Storage (thestack.com) 40

An anonymous reader writes: Bee pollen could hold the answer to next generation battery research, according to a new study led by scientists at Purdue University, Indiana. The team has been exploring how the unique microstructures found in allergen pollen grains could be used to provide a more energy efficient type of energy storage. The research explained that by turning pollen into a carbon anode with a more efficient microstructure than graphite, the team was able to create a battery which could store more energy than conventional graphite models. The scientists took the pollen from honeybees and common wetland plant cattails, and discovered that cattail pollen had more energy-storing capacity, compared to the bee pollen.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Pollen-Based Electrodes Could Boost Battery Storage

Comments Filter:
  • by PapayaSF ( 721268 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @08:04PM (#51523791) Journal
    I guarantee that the same people who are "allergic" to WiFi will be "allergic" to pollen-based batteries....
  • by technosaurus ( 1704630 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @08:09PM (#51523829)
    It would make sense that the more uniform structure from the same type of pollen would produce better results at first. Perhaps later research will show that purposefully alternating layers of smaller and larger pollens produces better yields. The "bee pollen" could be any number of shapes and sizes.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Agreed. Saying "bee pollen" is like "human feathers": we can wear them, but it doesn't make them ours.

    • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

      I don't know why they compared cattail pollen to "honeybee pollen". Pollen is produced by a variety of plants and collected by bees. Other than the collection method, it doesn't matter in the slightest that it was collected via bees, so you have a whole group of pollen types.

      And then cattail pollen is a specific species of plant pollen. It's not serviced by honeybees, but it's odd to compare it to a whole bag of pollen types.

      It's like comparing the performance of the Corvette C7 Z06 to "all light trucks"

  • I get the feeling Science is just trolling us now.

    • They didn't use "organic," that would have sealed the deal.

    • Actually, it doesn't surprise me that cattails are so good for batteries. Did you ever stroke a cat during very dry weather? Sparks come off after just a few strokes. Excellent battery material! I missed my calling to become a scientist...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    For the last decade+ we keep hearing about this or that tech that will greatly improve batteries.

    And.... nothing. they never show up.

    • The do show up it is just that they are not that great and we demand more of them as well.

      The following article has a graph of battery energy over time, it is definitely increase.
      http://theenergycollective.com... [theenergycollective.com]

      • The do show up it is just that they are not that great and we demand more of them as well.

        You're right about the increasing demands. I carried an S5 phone for a while. With the default setting and everything turned on I had to recharge it pretty much every day. Turning off almost everything but the bare minimum of what I needed let me go almost two full weeks without a recharge.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah. Just look at how we've been stuck with 700mAh NiCd AAs for the last 20 years.
      Oh, wait.

  • The scientists took the pollen from honeybees and common wetland plant cattails, and discovered that cattail pollen had more energy-storing capacity, compared to the bee pollen.

    I suspect the same will hold true when comparing pollen from wind-pollinated plants vs insect-pollinated plants. Sticky insect-borne pollen doesn't need as much surface area.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There's no such thing as bee pollen.

  • by darthsilun ( 3993753 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @10:48PM (#51524787)
    If cattail pollen performed better, why isn't cattail pollen the answer?
  • There's no such thing as "bee pollen".
    Bee pollen is plant pollen, from, wait for it, the flowers that bees visit.

  • The researchers were said to have been as busy as a bee trying to think up of new materials for electrodes. They discovered a fertile new area to explore, which bore fruit. This new electrode is nothing to sneeze at!

  • by jtgd ( 807477 )

    "turning pollen into a carbon anode"

    For one we're talking about toasted pollen.

    Second, I'd think it better to get the pollen from the flower before the bees have adulterated it.

"'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true." -- Poloniouius, in Willie the Shake's _Hamlet, Prince of Darkness_

Working...