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A&M researchers developing new batteries less dependent on precious metals

Posted at 4:54 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 13:22:06-04

COLLEGE STATION, TX — A team of Aggie researchers says they have a new battery to cut down on waste - and the need, for precious metals.

The new batteries stay away from metals like cobalt and use an organic construction, that's almost degradable on demand.

Current lithium-ion batteries use cobalt in their construction and are placing a huge demand on resources.

The Texas A&M team says to make this kind of battery... all you need is a little bit of science.

"They (the battery) can be made from organic chemistry such as polypeptides, which are the same types of molecules you might find in your body," shared Dr. Jodie Lutkenhaus, chemical engineering professor at Texas A&M. "They're really similar to proteins but we synthesize them ourselves and turn them into batteries, so without those metals, we relieve the pressure on the consumer demand for those metals."

Polypeptide batteries are rechargeable just like lithium-ion batteries. However, Ludkenhaus says more research is needed for the battery's life cycle.

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