Moldy Rechargeable Batteries

What’s worse than coming in from the workbench for a sandwich only to discover that the bread has molded? That red bread mold–Neurospora crassa–can transform manganese into a mineral composite that may improve rechargeable batteries, according to a recent paper in Current Biology.

Researchers used the carbonized fungal biomass-mineral composite in both lithium ion cells and supercapacitors. The same team earlier showed how fungi could stabilize toxic lead and uranium. Mold, of course, is a type of fungus that grows in multi-cellular filaments. Apparently, the fungal filaments that form are ideal for electrochemical use of manganese oxide. Early tests showed batteries using the new material had excellent stability and exceeded 90% capacity after 200 discharge cycles.

The team plans to continue the use of fungus in various metallurgical contexts, including recovering scarce metal elements. This is probably good news for [Kyle]. This is quite an organic contrast to the usual news about graphene batteries.

Image: Qianwei Li and Geoffrey Michael Gadd

24 thoughts on “Moldy Rechargeable Batteries

        1. Yes, but if I make a sandwich I normally wrap it in foil to protect it from drying out. If it is then out of the fridge for long time (or lying in the fridge for longer time) it could get moldy.

    1. The fungi places the manganese in a such way that it forms a memory circuit, in there is a digital fungi (an intelligent virus/trojan/worm software) which is then downloaded via the connector of the battery. Almighty Fungi knows that he’s gonna be carbonized… so he took it’s precaution and he will overtake the world.

      1. No, every Uranium is toxic. Except from the radioactivity Uranium IS a toxic heavy metal comparable to Lead. Biochemistry is not so much effected by atomic mass, except for very light atoms like H and D.

    1. They probably mean either raw enriched uranium and/or contaminated fuel assemblies as opposed to uranium ore/yellowcake (which is not very toxic and has low bioavailability).

      1. Yeah…… eating an alpha emitter and heavy metal isn’t a good idea.
        I realize this isn’t a technical talk or audience, but this guy makes some really poor arguments for his case.

      2. Oh you better believe it’s toxic, regardless of its oxidation state. The reason you get routinely urine screened when around it. And you scan in and out of contaminated areas, so it’s not on your hands when you go to lunch and ingest it. The guy in the video is an idiot.
        Granted its not uranium black, but yellow cake is still toxic.

        Source: worked at insitu uranium mine.

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