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High Calorie A team of Australian engineers is looking in an unusual place for the future of energy storage: uneaten fruit. One of the major challenges in converting a fossil fuel-dependent energy infrastructure into something clean and sustainable is finding new ways to store energy — and a growing number of researchers have been looking into biowaste as a possible answer, according to research published in the Journal of Energy Storage in December. Building on research into bagasse, watermelons, pomelo peels, and even paper pulp, the engineers found a way to build ultracapacitors — extremely energy-dense storage devices — out of the jackfruit and durian. Natural Infrastructure In order to make use of the fruit, engineers converted it into an aerogel, which is a type of ultralight, porous material. To do that, they first heat-treated and then freeze-dried the spongy, inedible cores of both the jackfruit and durian, and then cast metal oxides onto them, according to the research paper. The resulting carbon-rich aerogel, which look s like a cavernous piece of burnt toast, was able to reliably and repeatedly charge and discharge electricity — hinting at a future in which our energy storage depends less on batteries built […]

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