Several scientists have researched the possible power capabilities of algae. Prototype creator, Adam Freeman is one of them and he intends to build a new kind of battery that could even power a Tesla. He says that this battery will have 200X greater charge than current lithium-based batteries we use today. His research company aIGAS aims to prove this.
The algae battery according to Freeman, lasts longer and also charges faster than ion batteries we are currently using on our iPads, cell phones or even the Tesla. As he explains, algae have paper-thin fibers that provide ions with an easier surface to get through. Instead of the charge taking minutes or hours, it takes just 11 seconds. This image shows how current batteries we use charge. Numerous studies that have been done, show that the materials we mine to make the batteries today are becoming extinct and the batteries may cause cancer.
Previous tests have been done to prove that algae has charge and could in theory produce battery power but it’s not yet known how much of it would be needed or how much charge generated by it would power a car, for example. Freeman however, believes he has the answer to this question and all he needs is funding to start mass production.
He say that to build a prototype, he needs only $1, 500 and with $5,000 the algae battery would be ready for mass production by summer.
Materials used to make ion batteries are quite hard to extract which makes them expensive. 95 percent of them are shipped from China and are used to power most of the gadgets we own like phones.
To cut cost, Tesla pledged that it would use only US materials. If Freeman is to be believed, then it means the cost needed to grow the algae powered batteries would be low and this would reduce their price. This could result in big implications if successful.
Theoretically, with this kind of battery, one could power an entire house. Pierre Calleja, a French Biochemist, did it when he designed the first algae street light. So, imagine having a breathing algae plant power up your house. It’s possible!
Freeman’s prototype is different from others done before since it uses a bio-safe polymer. This critical element binds the algae fibers together creating a much better interaction with the electron charge. The potential of this prototype according to Adam Freeman is huge.
“Think of driving your car on a living battery that charges in seconds with a battery that costs almost nothing and is actually good for the environment.”
[Source: www.techcrunch.com, www.web.mit.edu, www.citylab.com]