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Bug Power

Tobacco Virus Could Boost Li Batteries 161

siliconbits alerts us to the possible use of one of the world's most destructive naturally occurring scourges, the tobacco mosaic virus, to boost the capacity of lithium ion batteries by 10 times. It seems the virus can be made to attach itself to the electrodes in a lithium cell perpendicularly, increasing the surface area of the electrode and greatly improving the battery's capacity to store energy. PhysOrg has some more detail on virus-enhanced batteries. Four years ago we discussed the use of the tobacco mosaic virus to enable fast-switching transistors.
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Tobacco Virus Could Boost Li Batteries

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  • Re:Scourge? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Gizzmonic ( 412910 ) on Friday December 10, 2010 @01:08PM (#34515256) Homepage Journal

    Actually, it's the smoking that gives you all those nasty ailments. Why not try a minty e-cigarette instead loaded with satiating tobacco?

    Also, you can email your friends with your cigarette if you sign up for the $40/month e-cigarette data plan!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 10, 2010 @01:12PM (#34515288)

    When you say "one of the world's most destructive naturally occurring scourges," are you referring to tobacco or the virus?

    to lazy to log in.

  • Re:Scourge? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anarki2004 ( 1652007 ) on Friday December 10, 2010 @01:24PM (#34515404) Homepage Journal
    As an e-cig enthusiast, I will attest that it just isn't the same. With the e-cig, I get the satisfaction of inhaling something and seeing the resulting cloud. I also get my nicotine fix. Sure, nicotine is a poison, but at least all I'm inhaling is nicotine and propylene glycol (or food grade vegetable glycerin); there is no burning or 4000+ chemicals as found in a traditional cigarette. The gum just doesn't do it for most people.
  • Re:Scourge? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nadaka ( 224565 ) on Friday December 10, 2010 @01:29PM (#34515448)

    I used to hate eggplants too bacause I always was served goopy overbaked eggplant.
    But then I discovered that they are best prepared sliced, battered and fried. Delicious.

  • Re:Scourge? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by metamechanical ( 545566 ) on Friday December 10, 2010 @01:47PM (#34515610)

    Balderdash! The key to preparing eggplant is the following two steps:

    1) Slice the eggplant into ~ 1.5 cm - 2 cm slices. Salt one side of each slice. Reassemble eggplant, wrapping with cling wrap to hold it together. Let it rest for ~30 minutes until all the bitter juices leech out, and then wipe each slice dry.

    2) Roast or grill eggplant for a couple minutes, until it looks like it has started cooking.

    Then, do whatever you want with it.

    Also, it helps to know that the eggplant has "male" and "female" fruit, and that the female fruit has a more bitter flavor.

  • 10-fold increase? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bored_engineer ( 951004 ) on Friday December 10, 2010 @01:49PM (#34515628)

    Gasoline has an energy density of about 34 MJ/L, while current Li-ion batteries have an energy density of around 0.7 MJ/L. If this comes to fruition, we'll have batteries with about 1/5th of the energy density of gasoline. That's quite amazing, in my opinion.

    What if that battery is pierced, though? I know that the Tesla rig uses a slew of small cells. Do other electric cars like the Volt or the Leaf do the same thing? It seems to me that a number of small cells might present less of a problem, though that would drive the energy density of a battery pack down.

  • Re:10-fold increase? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by greenskyx ( 609089 ) * on Friday December 10, 2010 @02:08PM (#34515802)
    It's especially good because electric vehicles are around 4x as efficient as internal combustion engines. The Leaf uses larger flat sheets of batteries to increase their ability to release excess heat.

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein