In a Yale lab professors think they may have found the key to the next generation of batteries, and this key lies in a molecule which is found in blood.
Lithium-ion are currently the industry standard for batteries. However, researchers are developing a lithium-oxygen battery, that once functional will massively surpass current batteries lasting power. They could potentially increase the travelling distance of electronic cars by 4-500%.
However there is currently an issue with the new batteries, and that is known as the oxygen evolution reaction. During the process lithium oxide products decompose back into lithium ions and oxygen gas. This leads to the batteries oxygen electrodes becoming covered in lithium peroxide.
This is where the blood molecule comes in. There is a molecule in your blood called a heme. A heme’s function is to carry oxygen from your lungs around your body. It then carries waste carbon dioxide back out. With regards to batteries, heme molecules would dissolve into the battery’s electrolytes and act as what’s known as a redox mediator. A redox mediator ultimately lowers the energy barrier required for the electrochemical reaction to take place.
Distilled down, this essentially means that we could have the longer running, more efficient lithium-oxygen batteries without the damaging lithium peroxide occurring.
There is also a side benefit to the production of this battery. One of the largest waste by products of the meat and livestock industry is blood. It can’t actually be used for very much and disposing of it is difficult. But if the development of these batteries continues then we will have a use for much of that wasted blood.
Along with most businesses, Phlebotomy training try to operate as ‘green’ as possible, and we think the coming together of environmental friendliness and blood is fascinating. We will keep a close eye on these developments.
To find out more about our phlebotomy training courses then just give us a call on 01609 751 610.