Growing A New Generation of Batteries

I’m always on a hunt for up and coming technology relative to recycling, alternative energy, and energy conversion.

By that I mean, I’m looking for everything from tech that’s ready for mass production all the way out to the real cutting edge “fringe” goodies. This month, I found something fun.

MIT professor Angela Belcher has for the last 8 years or so been working on growing something called a “bio-battery”. Essentially, this is a genetically modified virus that ultimately creates a battery when partnered with iron or manganese which are known to be benign to the environment. She believes bio batteries will not only increase capacity over our current go-to, the lithium-ion battery, they will be able to be recharged thousands of times, and will harmlessly decay over time.

Suffice to say, the suggestions of this are staggering. Bio-batteries could provide profoundly positive solutions for many of our most challenging problems such as energy creation and consumption as well as our impact on the environment. She is already using prototypes in flashlights and laser pointers. Ultimately, she wants them to be used in cell phones, tablets, computers, cars, and homes in the coming decades.

Below is a link to an interview with Professor Belcher from 2014 in Slate magazine. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.