As part of a push to find more sustainable materials for batteries, researchers have created a zinc-based battery in which they've replaced the typically corrosive electrolyte material with a biodegradable one developed using a byproduct of the seafood industry—the shells of crabs, shrimp, and lobsters.
Researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD) developed the new device, which in tests demonstrated its suitability to store energy from alternative sources such as solar and wind, they said.
A key material used in the device is chitosan as the electrolyte. Chitosan is found most abundantly in the exoskeletons of crustaceans--including crabs, shrimps, and lobsters.
In tests, the battery demonstrated an energy efficiency of 99.7 percent after 1,000 battery cycles, researchers reported in a paper published in Matter.