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Could we make greener batteries using aloe vera?

Agriculture & Energy

A novel design uses aloe vera as an electrolyte for batteries that are biodegradable and circular

Spotted: According to a recent article in the journal Waste Management, almost 2 million tonnes of dry cell batteries are discarded every year, but less than half of this total is recycled. When sent to landfill, the toxic and hazardous materials in batteries, such as heavy metals, leach into the soil and water. Indian startup Aloe Ecell has developed a solution – batteries made using aloe vera.

The company has created an AA battery that uses aloe vera gel as a natural electrolyte. Natural acid in the aloe vera enables the efficient transfer of ions between the anode and a cathode, which are made from organic polymers. The battery also features an innovative separator that maximises ionic conductivity and minimises internal resistance, contributing to the battery’s overall efficiency and performance.

Not only do the Aloe Ecell batteries decompose if sent to landfill, but the company has also devised a way to recycle the spent batteries into a carbon-negative fertiliser. In addition, the aloe vera plants used in the production of the gel electrolyte capture and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow. This helps offset the emissions produced during the production, transportation, and disposal of the battery.

The company is supported by the Indian Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, and by investment from the Indian Government’s Technology Development Board.

Sustainable battery technology is moving rapidly, as Springwise has spotted in innovations including a battery design that eliminates critical metals and the use of AI to develop new battery electrolytes.

Written By: Lisa Magloff




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