Silica-rich husks can be converted into electrodes that have the ability to extend the life of the new generation of batteries.
Currently, lithium ion batteries contain electrodes that consist of graphite, but efforts are on to swap them for silicon electrodes that are capable of holding 10 times more charge, New Scientist reported.
However, the drawback of these electrodes is that they degrade even faster than the batteries that have graphite electrodes, every time the battery is charged and drained, which shortens its lifetime.
This happens because the electrodes swell and shrink while the lithium ions circulate between the electrodes, causing fracturing among them.
Jang Wook Choi at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon, South Korea, said that silicon that has been converted from the rice husks' silica could be capable of defying the volume change that is the current problem in the traditional batteries.
The tiny holes of husks that allow the rice kernel to breathe should also mean that any derived silicon will also be porous.
To test their theory out, Choi's and his team converted the silica from rice husk into pure silicon and then created battery electrodes out of it.
The new electrode did not show any capacity fade even after undergoing 200 charge-drain cycles.