“Virus” Batteries Could Help Power Hybrid Vehicles

By dancurranjr On April 25th, 2009

hybrid_battery_packCould laboratory-grown viruses hold the key to powering hybrid vehicles of the future?

A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reports genetically engineering viruses that build both the positively and negatively charged ends of a lithium-ion battery.

The virus-produced batteries have the same energy capacity and power performance as state-of-the-art rechargeable batteries being considered to power plug-in hybrid cars, the researchers say. They add the batteries could also be used to power a range of personal electronic devices.

The viruses – which infect bacteria but are harmless to humans – would go into making batteries through a cheap and environmentally benign process. It would occur at and below room temperature and require no harmful organic solvents.

And the materials that go into the battery are non-toxic, the scientists claim. Their work is detailed in a recent online edition of the journal Science.

SOURCE: My Stateline.com