It turns out that ordinary red brick can be a great device for storing energy and serving as a battery. It was proved by the researchers from the University of Washington in St. Louis. They were able to come up with a unique way to make a battery out of ordinary bricks. To do that, they needed the most common brick and a special type of nanofibers made of plastic. Miniature nanofibers filled all the pores of the brick and demonstrated their ability to accumulate charge.
During the first experiments, the researchers were surprised by the result. In the early stages of testing, the brick was able to store energy and then transmit it to a small LED flashlight that illuminated the room. That discovery, according to the researchers, has a great future.
Now they claim a low energy density. And it is explained by the fact that the bricks are, first of all, still supercapacitors, and not batteries based on chemical reactions. But if this feature is taken into account on a global scale, then when building a house from bricks filled with special nanofibers, such a dwelling will not need a heating system.
The walls of the house will accumulate energy by themselves, and then transfer it to the inner space of the dwelling. One of the alternative energy sources is the solar panels. They store energy and then transfer it inside the house. Similarly, the energy and bricks can be harvested.
A researcher Julio Darcy believes that his team laid a completely new concept for the batteries of the future that can be used both in large cities and in small towns. Compared to a lithium-ion battery, the power supply has only one ideal energy density.
The researchers hope to increase the tenfold using metal oxides. They still have to find a way to make such brick waterproof and more resistant to any destruction.