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Brief Published: 17 Jul 2013

Rice Husk Electrodes

Rice husks

A team of scientists at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, South Korea, has converted the silica in rice husks into silicon electrodes.

Silicon electrodes could be used in lithium ion batteries in consumer electronics. Because silicon electrodes can hold 10 times more charge than electrodes made of graphite, they could support the future development of battery-powered vehicles and portable electronics.

Rice husk silica, which protects the rice kernel, is usually cast off, added to fertilisers or burned for fuel after a harvest. Rice production in Asia yields approximately 770 million tonnes of rice husk each year, according to a 2012 estimate by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Scientists continue to seek out sustainable materials to power electronic devices. For more on innovations in sustainable energy, see the Stylus reports Learning from Natural Systems, Unlocking Algae and Nature Power, as well as the posts on Bacteria Biofuel and the Tornado-Inspired Energy Generator.