Chemists have developed a substance that when applied to the surface of ordinary red brick turns it into a supercapacitor.
For several thousand years, bricks are used to build buildings and rarely find use for other purposes. However, researchers from the University of Washington in St. Louis found a way to turn it into a low-power device for storing electricity.
Conducting experiments with a red brick pigment (rust), the chemist team has developed a polystyrene polymer coating, which consists of nanofolocon. After applying, the substance penetrates into the porous structure of the block, where it reacts with iron oxide and turns into an ionic sponge, conductive and accumulating electricity.
The «smart brick» prototype created in this way is able to quickly accumulate energy and, if necessary, to give it. Although the blocks have a small storage capacity, but can be charged and discharged thousands of times for one hour as supercapacitors.
Studies have shown that one modified brick is able to feed the white LED for 10 minutes, and 50 connected blocks can support emergency lighting for 5 hours.
Now the team is looking for ways to increase efficiency and experiment with various oxides, polymers, types of bricks. In the future perspective, scientists plan to connect entire walls from modified blocks to solar cells, microelectronics sensors and air purification systems.
Recall that recent scientists also found a way
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