Durian power-bank? Australian researchers suggest the thorny fruit can charge devices

Durian is widely regarded as the King of Fruits because of its distinctive characteristics. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Durian is widely regarded as the King of Fruits because of its distinctive characteristics. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — If you are a durian lover and often run out of juice for your gadgets, here’s interesting news to possibly make you love the thorny king of fruits more.

A group of Australian-based scientists led by associate professor Vincent G. Gomes at the University of Sydney have discovered that the durian and also the humble jackfruit both have the ability to generate naturally efficient electrical energy.

According to their scientific paper, which was published on ScienceDirect, it appears that the researchers have found a way to turn waste fruit cores from durian and jackfruit into potentially high-performing electrochemical supercapacitors — recognised as ideal energy storage candidates.

It is found that the fruits are a great source of energy for swift electrical charging, capable of supercharging portable electronic devices such as smartphones to even electric cars.

The paper published in the Journal of Energy Storage last month, outlined that the structural precision of natural biomass with their hierarchical pores, developed over millions of years of biological evolution, affords an outstanding resource as a template for the synthesis of carbon-based materials.

“Their integrated properties of high surface area, in-plane conductivity and interfacial active sites can facilitate electrochemical reactions, ionic diffusion and high charge carrier density,” states the findings.

To develop inexpensive and sustainably produced electrode materials, the researchers considered cost-natural organic wastes that qualify as precursors to produce carbon aerogels.

The paper highlighted that converting food wastes into value-added products will not only improve the overall economy but also reduce environmental pollution.

The scientists also noted that organic wastes with substantial porosity and high surface area are significantly desirable to engineer devices for energy storage.

To test their hypothesis, small biomass samples were excoriated from the inedible spongy core of each fruit before turning them into black, highly porous and ultralight forms of aerogel.

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