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Rice-husks could make much longer-lasting batteries

 The abundant waste product could be converted into electrodes with the power to extend the lifetime of the next generation of batteries.

The lithium ion batteries in today's electronics usually contain electrodes made of graphite, but efforts are ongoing to switch them for silicon electrodes, which can hold 10 times more charge. This is expected to speed the development of more sophisticated portable electronics and better electric cars.

The downside of silicon electrodes is that they degrade even faster than those made of graphite each time the battery is charged and drained, shortening its lifetime. This "capacity fade" is caused by the electrodes drastically swelling and shrinking as the lithium ions circulate between the electrodes, causing them to fracture.

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