Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Aloe vera uses you never thought of

The evolution of electric vehicles and low power electronic devices such as mobile phones drive the search for better longer lasting energy storage. The amount of energy and the rate at which you can use it depends on, among other things, the surface area of electrodes that make up the bulk of the system. Several researchers at the University of Technology and Huaqio University in Xiamen, China have used the humble Aloe vera plant to produce superior electrodes for ‘super capacitors’. Super capacitors are a possible alternative to chemical batteries but have faster charge and discharge rates and longer life. Another group of researchers at Beijing University in China have built supercapacitors almost entirely by using different parts of the Aloe vera plant.

A group of researchers from Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Japan have also used Aloe vera extract as part of a process to synthesize nano-particles which are useful in a range of different ways. The synthesising process replaces the need for toxic chemicals and solvents that might be used otherwise. Apart from the use as an active material in energy storage systems, nano-particles have applications as antimicrobial agents and act like sponges removing heavy metals in environmental remediation.

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