Sustainable Battery Materials from Biomass

ChemSusChem. 2020 May 8;13(9):2110-2141. doi: 10.1002/cssc.201903577. Epub 2020 Apr 15.


Sustainable sources of energy have been identified as a possible way out of today's oil dependency and are being rapidly developed. In contrast, storage of energy to a large extent still relies on heavy metals in batteries. Especially when built from biomass-derived organics, organic batteries are promising alternatives and pave the way towards truly sustainable energy storage. First described in 2008, research on biomass-derived electrodes has been taken up by a multitude of researchers worldwide. Nowadays, in principle, electrodes in batteries could be composed of all kinds of carbonized and noncarbonized biomass: On one hand, all kinds of (waste) biomass may be carbonized and used in anodes of lithium- or sodium-ion batteries, cathodes in metal-sulfur or metal-oxygen batteries, or as conductive additives. On the other hand, a plethora of biomolecules, such as quinones, flavins, or carboxylates, contain redox-active groups that can be used as redox-active components in electrodes with very little chemical modification. Biomass-based binders can replace toxic halogenated commercial binders to enable a truly sustainable future of energy storage devices. Besides the electrodes, electrolytes and separators may also be synthesized from biomass. In this Review, recent research progress in this rapidly emerging field is summarized with a focus on potentially fully biowaste-derived batteries.

Keywords: biomass; charge storage; electrode materials; energy storage; organic batteries.

Publication types

  • Review