Sand Becomes Key Ingredient in Lithium Ion Batteries

Sand Becomes Key Ingredient in Lithium Ion Batteries

A team of researchers has developed a new lithium ion battery from sand, resulting in a battery three times more powerful than the standard.

Researchers from the University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering have created a lithium ion battery from sand. The result is a battery that produces three times more power than standard lithium ion batteries currently available on the market.

Zachary Favors, a graduate student at the university, came up with the idea when he realized that sand is made of silicon dioxide or quartz. "This is the holy grail: a low cost, non-toxic, environmentally friendly way to produce high-performance lithium ion battery anodes," said Favors.

He and his research team ground salt and magnesium into purified quartz, then heated the powder. Oxygen was removed, resulting in pure nano-silicon. The team is now working to produce pouch-sized batteries that are used in cell phones.

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