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Urine Makes Batteries Cheaper!!



Urea results from the combination of two molecules of ammonia with a carbon dioxide molecule, which in its natural state assumes a solid, but easily water-soluble state. It is the way an organism expels excess nitrogen, and its main function in nature is as a "tool" for bacteria to aid in the fertilization of soils for agricultural exploitation. 

At industrial level, it is already used in explosives, resins, dermatological products and in the catalysts of diesel engines of automobiles. Now, Stanford University in the United States is studying the possibility of using urea as a component to reduce the production costs of aluminum ion electric batteries, according to a study published in PNAS, a journal of the Academy of Sciences of the United States.


This is an evolution of the current aluminum ion battery also developed at Stanford. Urea replaces a compound called EMIC, an ionic liquid that was used as electrolyte, but which is too expensive for this type of applications. The electrolyte serves to separate the two electrodes (aluminum and graphite) serving at the same time as a conductor. 

Although its storage capacity is half that of a lithium-ion battery, it has the advantage of being non-flammable, can be charged faster and has a potentially longer life. The other great advantage is that urea is a component that costs one hundredth of EMIC, contributing to a very low price of the final product. 

And as it is produced naturally, it meets the Stanford team's goals of creating a battery that runs primarily through renewable energy such as solar.
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