A Pair of Viruses Good for Your Computer – and Maybe Your Electric Vehicle

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants Leave a Comment

To say that your battery is “smoking” would normally be the sign of a failed circuit, but researchers at the A. James Clark School of Engineering and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland may be putting a virus that’s bad even for tobacco to good use in creating a battery that may be up to 10 times more powerful than today’s best lithium cells.   Professor Reza Ghodssi, director of the Institute for Systems Research and Herbert Rabin Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Clark School,  is “harnessing and exploiting the ‘self-renewing’ and ‘self-assembling’ properties” of the  Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV), which in its unrestrained natural state destroys tobacco, tomatoes, peppers and other leafy green things.   The idea that battery creation is a self-directing event is belied by the University’s video. Scientists found, “They can modify the TMV rods to bind perpendicularly to the metallic surface of a battery electrode and arrange the rods in intricate and orderly …

Buckminster Fuller Would Be Proud

Dean Sigler Uncategorized Leave a Comment

We will need lighter structures to achieve better fuel economy, but what if the structure could also be part of the power system in a vehicle?  That seems to be one of the possibilities in this fascinating breakthrough in material science.  Graphenes are one-atom thick layers of carbon, and are the lightest, strongest structure yet achieved. Not only is this material the strongest yet found, but the nano material has tremendous promise in electronics and solar PV devices.  Consider that if it could be used to store and transmit current, a structure could be self-powering.  To what extent could this be borne out in actual graphene structures?