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The Good News
2015 June
Pg 3 - The Sunshine Express
Trees are source for
high-capacity, soft batteries
A method for making elastic high-capacity batteries
from wood pulp was unveiled by researchers in Swe-
den and the US. Using nanocellulose broken down
from tree fibres, a team from KTH Royal Institute
of Technology and Stanford University produced an
elastic, foam-like battery material that can with-
stand shock and stress.
¡°It is possible to make incredible materials from
trees and cellulose,¡± says Max Hamedi, who is a re-
searcher at KTH and Harvard University. One benefit
of the new wood-based aerogel material is that it
can be used for three-dimensional structures.
¡°There are limits to how thin a battery can be, but
that becomes less relevant in 3D, ¡° Hamedi says.
¡°We are no longer restricted to two dimensions.
We can build in three dimensions, enabling us to fit
more electronics in a smaller space.¡±
A 3D structure enables storage of significantly more
power in less space than is possible with conven-
tional batteries, he says.
¡°Three-dimensional, porous materials have been re-
garded as an obstacle to building electrodes. But we
have proven that this is not a problem. In fact, this
type of structure and material architecture allows
flexibility and freedom in the design of batteries,¡±
Hamedi says.
The process for creating the material begins with
breaking down tree fibres, making them roughly one
million times thinner. The nanocellulose is dissolved,
frozen and then freeze-dried so that the moisture
evaporates without passing through a liquid state.
Then the material goes through a process in which
the molecules are stabilised so that the material
does not collapse.
¡°The result is a material that is both strong, light
and soft,¡± Hamedi says. ¡°The material resembles
foam in a mattress, though it is a little harder,
lighter and more porous. You can touch it without it
breaking.¡±
The finished aerogel can then be treated with elec-
tronic properties. ¡°We use a very precise technique,
verging on the atomic level, which adds ink that
conducts electricity within the aerogel. You can coat
the entire surface within.¡±
In terms of surface area, Hamedi compares the
material to a pair of human lungs, which if unfurled
could be spread over a football field. Similarly, a
single cubic decimeter of the battery material would
cover most of a football pitch, he says.
¡°You can press it as much as you want. While flex-
ible and stretchable electronics already exist, the in-
sensitivity to shock and impact are somewhat new.¡±
Hamedi says the aerogel batteries could be used in
electric car bodies, as well as in clothing, providing
the garment has a lining.
The research has been carried out
at the Wallenberg Wood Science
Center at KTH. KTH Professor Lars
Wgberg also has been involved,
and his work on aerogels is in the
basis for the invention of soft elec-
tronics. Another partner is leading
battery researcher, Professor Yi
Cui from Stanford University.
(Source: KTH The Royal Institute
of Technology. ¡°Trees are source
for high-capacity, soft batteries.¡±
ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29
May 2015. www.sciencedaily.com)
Aerogel Batteries
Marketplace website in addition to the shared
farmers¡¯ market booth.
Four Corners Chapter, Rocky Mountain Farm-
ers Union, Cortez Evening Market, Cortez,
Colo., $10,000 for marketing and promotion
of the evening market to increase awareness
and participation of vendors and consumers.
Garden Sweet, Fort Collins, Colo., $7,330 for
marketing support with the purpose of in-
creasing sales, enhancing direct-to-consumer
access to Garden Sweet farm products, and
promoting new value-added products for the
2015 season.
The Infinite Monkey Theorem, Inc., Denver,
Colo., $10,000 will contribute to the support
of introducing a dry hopped pear cider to the
adult beverage industry and bring awareness
to the benefits of Colorado canned beverage
products.
Two Brothers Organics Inc., Hotchkiss, Colo.,
$15,000 to assist in the development and
promotion of an all-natural line of products in
order to meet the current demand and pro-
vide the company the ability to source more
Colorado ingredients.
Southwest Farm Fresh Cooperative, Cortez,
Colo., $9,895 to advance the sales of local
farm products from member-owners by using
an established wholesale distribution method
and soon to include retail online shopping ac-
cess and distribution component.
For more info call: 303.869.9176 or visit:
www.coloradoagriculture.com
Colorado Invests
Colorado Dept of Agriculture
Invests in Local Businesses
The Colorado Department of
Agriculture selected nine projects to receive
funding through the ¡°Enrich Colorado Ag Grant
Program.¡± Grant funds will help Colorado com-
panies conduct research and develop new uses
and markets for food and agricultural products
that are grown, raised or processed in Colorado.
¡°The Department takes great pride in the ability
to support our local food and agricultural busi-
nesses,¡± said Tom Lipetzky, Markets Division
Director. ¡°Although few grant programs offer
support to benefit individual companies, our Di-
vision works hard to provide as much assistance
as possible.¡±
Projects funded include:
Feasibility Studies & Technical Assistance
Brink Inc., Erie, Colo., $4,900 to study the
economic viability of utilizing pre-consumer food
waste for use as livestock feed and/or compost-
ing operations.
Kettelson Family Farms, Wray, Colo., $12,610
to receive technical assistance with equipment
to develop a means of harvesting and producing
two new ornamental products.
Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project, Cor-
tez, Colo., $7,500 for researching the market
potential and data collection of heritage apples
(and unique varietals) grown in southwestern
Colorado.
Marketing and Sales
Community Agriculture Alliance, Steamboat
Springs, Colo., $11,000 to market and promote
local food/products available in the Yampa Val-
ley, by utilizing the established Community Ag