Scientists store energy in used cigarette filters as batteries
Cigarette filter batteries update…
Scientists in South Korea say they have found a way of converting used cigarette butts into a material capable of storing energy that could help power everything from mobile phones to electric cars.
In a study published on Tuesday in the journal Nanotechnology, researchers from Seoul National University outlined how they transformed the used filters, which are composed mainly of cellulose acetate fibres and are considered toxic and a risk to the environment when discarded.
“Our study has shown that used cigarette filters can be transformed into a high-performing carbon-based material using a simple one-step process, which simultaneously offers a green solution to meeting the energy demands of society,” said professor and study co-author Jongheop Yi.
The end result is a so-called super capacitor, which the scientists said stores more power, charges quicker and lasts longer than available storage alternatives.
“Carbon is one of the promising materials considered for use in super capacitors due to its low cost, high porosity, electronic conductivity and stability,” the study added.
According to anti-smoking campaigners Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded item worldwide, contributing more than 765,000 tonnes of waste annually.