| research and regulation
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preservation and recreational use. The state chapters of the Audubon Society,
the Sierra Club and local conservation groups sent representatives to a press
conference April 9 to endorse the plan.
FPL hopes to break ground on the PV plant before the close of 2009, and
Kitson expects to sell houses in 2011.
Mi T Team Uses Virus to Grow Lithium Battery
A team led by Angela Belcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
announced in March successful tests of a light, flexible lithium battery based on
carbon nanotubes. The battery is “grown” by engineered viruses.
By manipulating a couple of genes, the bacteriophage virus M13 was
induced to fix ions to carbon nanotubes, forming electrodes. In 2006, the team
announced creation of nanowire anodes in which the virus attached negatively
charged cobalt oxide and gold particles. The rest of the battery came together
with the demonstration of a cathode, fixing iron phosphate.
In both processes, the virus attaches at one end to the nanotube and at the
other end to the oxide or phosphate material.
With more robust chemistry, possibly using manganese or nickel phosphates,
Belcher says the process could be used to grow light, flexible, powerful batteries
in the shape of any container. Because it’s a room-temperature process using
only water as a solvent, biobattery manufacturing might have a low energy
footprint and benign environmental impact. The virus itself, in nature, attacks
certain bacteria and is harmless to humans.
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14 June 2009 SOLAR TODAY
Copyright © 2009 by the American Solar Energy Society Inc. All rights reserved.