Durian fruit, which is considered to be the world’s smelliest fruit, has been used to create energy stores for rapid electricity charging. A researcher from University of Sydney was able to convert durian waste into super-capacitors that can put out energy smoothly. This means, theoretically, one can charge their phone, laptop, and other everyday gadgets using this technology. The waste from durian and jackfruit can be converted into energy stores for “rapid electricity charging.” Durian and jackfruit were selected for this study because of their porosity and large surface area.
The method of converting aerogel from fruit waste to ultracapacitors has been detailed in an article on ScienceDirect.
How does it work?
As stated by Associate Professor Vincent Gomes, the lead researcher for the study, durian and jackfruit used in the study were locally sourced. The waste portions (biomass) from the fruits are transformed into stable carbon aerogels using a “non-toxic and non-hazardous green engineering method” that involves “heating in water and freeze drying of the fruits’ biomass”. The carbon aerogel which is essentially an extremely light and porous synthetic material is then used to make electrodes that store energy.
What are the real world applications of this tech?
Vincent Gomes states that finding new ways to create and store energy from “sustainably-sourced materials that do not contribute to global warming” is now paramount. He feels that naturally-derived super-capacitors have a great potential for making high efficiency energy storage devices, especially when the fossil fuels supplies rapidly depleting. So, this method can assist in the growing energy needs and provide a replacement for the current methods of converting fossil fuel into energy.
Why durian and jackfruit?
The researchers found that the super-capacitors made from durian and jack-fruit performed significantly better than the currently used materials. This was because of their larger surface area and porosity. They also put up strong competition against expensive graphene-based materials by being better or at least comparable.