New plant-based device could charge cars in minutes

A prototype of the green supercapacitor. Credit: Hong Liang/Texas A&M.

A new plant-based supercapacitor could, in the near future, charge devices—even electric cars—within a few minutes, researchers report.

The researchers say their energy storage devices are also flexible, lightweight, and cost-effective.

“Integrating biomaterials into energy storage devices has been tricky because it is difficult to control their resulting electrical properties, which then gravely affects the devices’ life cycle and performance.

Also, the process of making biomaterials generally includes chemical treatments that are hazardous,” says Hong Liang, professor in the mechanical engineering department.

“We have designed an environmentally friendly energy storage device that has superior electrical performance and can be manufactured easily, safely and at much lower cost.”

Energy storage devices are generally in the form of either batteries or supercapacitors. Although both types of devices can deliver electrical currents when required, they have some fundamental differences.

While batteries can store

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Harlow’s leads the charge for government aid to entertainment venues

Amber DeLaRosa’s music career seemed to be picking up speed last year. She released two singles and, though she kept her day job as a nanny, began to make some money as a performer playing live shows at Sacramento venues at least once a month.

When the pandemic forced concert halls to close, DeLaRosa faced a challenge to her progress.

“As an artist, your biggest currency is momentum,” DeLaRosa said. “You’re gaining one fan at a time every show. You know that you’re going to sing to a crowd of strangers, and you’re hoping that just one of those people latches on and wants to go home and find your music further.”

For early career artists like DeLaRosa, local venues can provide a launchpad. DeLaRosa is still making music and giving online performances—an opportunity she appreciates. But singing in front of a webcam or even in a recording studio lacks

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