Chemical engineering assistant professors turns eggshells into batteries

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"(Phys.org)—Americans consume 76 billion eggs per year, and while some of the eggshell waste is used for fertilizer or dietary supplements, the majority of these eggshells are thrown away. In a new study, researchers at Wayne State University in Detroit have developed a method to recycle eggshells, using them as "chemical reactors" to synthesize sulfur-containing nanorods that can be used as battery electrodes.

The researchers, led by Assistant Professor Da Deng at Wayne State University, have published a paper on the novel approach in a recent issue of the journal Chemistry of Materials.

"A large number of eggs are consumed daily, but the disposal of eggshell waste is still a challenging task," Deng told Phys.org. "We outline an idea of the direct use of waste eggshells (or 'trash') as a unique reaction system (or 'treasure') for the synthesis of 1D nanorod arrays on eggshell membrane protein fibers. We prepared a composite of crystalline Co9S8 nanorod arrays on carbon fibers that demonstrate promising performance in both lithium- and sodium-ion batteries."