This advance represents another step towards the creation of cheaper and more environmentally friendly electronic devices.
It is a component very similar to commercial high-capacity lithium-ion batteries, but with an important difference: instead of using lithium as the base material, it uses a material made with flavin derived from vitamin B2 as a cathode. It has a capacity of around 125 mAh and a potential of 2.5 V.
“For a while, we have been looking in nature to find complex molecules for use in a number of consumer electronics applications,” explains Dwight Seferos, one of the team members. "When we use something made by nature that is already complex, we spend less time making a new material."
While other investigations, such as the flow battery at Harvard University have incorporated vitamin B2 as part of a battery, these scientists claim that its derivative is the first to use long-chain polymer molecules of biological origin for one of the electrodes.
In this way, the energy is stored in a plastic created from vitamins, instead of metals that are more expensive, difficult to process and more toxic to the environment.
Vitamin B2 has an inherent ability to store energy in our bodies from the breakdown of food, and it has very interesting qualities that make it an ideal material for batteries.
The prototype that the researchers have developed is the size of a hearing aid battery and there is still a lot of work to be done, but they are confident that their study will favor the development of metal-free batteries that are more efficient, thin, flexible and environmentally friendly than the ones we have. nowadays.