JAPANESE scientists say a species of iron-oxidising bacteria could produce an anode material in lithium-ion batteries.
Leptothrix ochracea is a species of iron-oxidizing bacteria, which produces Fe3+-based amorphous oxide particles that assemble into microtubular sheathes that surround the bacterial shell. These sheaths are called L-BIOX by the researchers, standing for Biogenous Iron Oxide produced by Leptothrix.
Okayama University's Jun Takada and colleagues, examined the charge-discharge properties of simple L-BIOX sheaths vs Li-metal cells, at current rates of 33.3mA/g (0.05C) and 666mA/g (1C) for voltages of 0 to 3V over 50 cycles. They also used spectroscopy to analyse the electronic and structural changes to the material.
Results showed that L-BIOX exhibited a high potential as an Fe3+/Fe0 conversion anode material, with significantly higher capacity compared to the conventional carbon materials.
The L-BIOX nanometric particles include minor components of Si and P, resulting in specific and well-defined electrode architecture.
The L-BIOX material, the researchers say, could be a new type of electrode material which could improve battery capability in a cost-effective manner.