Written by By smartplanet.com Friday, 22 March 2013 14:59
Can biominerals sourced from snails improve lithium-ion batteries and solar cellconcentration?
Can biominerals sourced from snails improve lithium-ion batteries and solar cell concentration?
According to researchers at the University of California, Riverside, the hunt for ways to improve battery energy storage and recharging, as well as the sunlight capture and concentration in solar cells, could be found in the strangest of places.
Assistant Professor David Kisailus, who has been studying a marine snail found off the U.S. coast called the chiton, has found that the snail’s teeth—constantly worn down by rasping algae off rocks and then replaced by further rows—could hold the key for improving our battery technology. The teeth, which contain the hardest-known biomineral magnetite, undergo an interesting process to become hard enough to cope with gnawing on rocks, as Wards autosummarizes: