Researchers unlock green energy potential of areca nut husk

A team of researchers have successfully isolated nano compounds from the husk of areca nut, paving way for advancements in battery technology

December 09, 2023 06:32 pm | Updated 06:32 pm IST - KANNUR

In a groundbreaking development, a team of researchers have successfully isolated nano compounds from the husk of areca nut, paving the way for advancements in battery technology. Specifically, the team produced nano silicon for use in lithium-ion batteries, addressing challenges related to stability and volume change.

The unique shape and structure of the silicon nanocomposites separated from the areca nut husk enable the battery to undergo multiple charge and discharge cycles.

According to Anjali Paravannoor and Baiju Vijayan, key researchers from School of Chemical Sciences, Swami Anantha Theertha Campus, Kannur University, these silicon-based lithium batteries exhibit four times the storage capacity compared to the currently prevalent graphite-based electrodes.

Dr. Paravannoor highlighted that the volume change of silicon anodes in lithium-ion batteries poses a significant challenge. The team’s approach involved a sustainable ‘Go Green’ method, using areca nut husk as a source for silicon through magnesiothermic reduction.

The researchers proposed a facile method to fabricate porous silicon spheres embedded in a silicate matrix, emphasising its low cost and scalability compared to traditional high-temperature procedures.

Beyond the advancement in battery technology, the research has broader implications for waste disposal in industries. Instead of sourcing silicon from sand or aquatic sediments, by converting areca nut husks into value-added products, the team offers a practical solution for managing agricultural waste.

The collaborative efforts of Dr. Vijayan and Dr. Paravannoor, involving researchers Deepthi Panoth , School of Chemical Sciences, Kannur University, K. Brijesh and H.S. Nagaraja, Department of Physics, National Institute of Technology, Surathkal, Karnataka and N. Ponpandian, Department of Nanoscience and Technology, Bharathiar University, marks a significant stride in green energy solutions.

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