Tobacco Virus Could Extend Battery Life by 1,000 Percent

According to Wikipedia, the Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) is a “positive-sense single stranded RNA virus that infects plants, especially tobacco and other members of the family Solanaceae. The infection causes characteristic patterns (mottling and discoloration) on the leaves (hence the name). ”

Sounds like a problem for plants, but it may turn out to be a huge positive for batteries. According to this post on fastmoney.com, the TMV virus could extend the life of lithium batteries 10-fold…

The idea is that TMV nanorods are bound to the electrodes in a lithium cell–without the need for any bonding agent–and automagically increase the surface area of the electrode. This is a critical matter in battery design, since it affects how much electrical energy the battery can hold, and TMV’s benefits mean a similar cell can hold up to ten times more charge than a more conventional one.

This has all sorts of implications for mobile technology. Imagine every lithium battery in every mobile device you own lasting up to ten times longer. That would mean Apple’s new MacBook Airs could hang on in standby mode for 10 months, and Amazon’s Kindles may only require charging once every year. Smartphones could have useful call times extending up to a week…

Researchers at the University of Maryland are the ones working on the breakthrough – from their press release

The use of the TMV virus in fabricating batteries can be scaled up to meet industrial production needs. “The process is simple, inexpensive, and renewable,” Culver adds. “On average, one acre of tobacco can produce approximately 2,100 pounds of leaf tissue, yielding approximately one pound of TMV per pound of infected leaves,” he explains.

So, as it turns out, tobacco’s not so bad after all. It just needed to be taken out of lungs and put into cell phones.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
10 Products That Upgrade Your Home for Less Than $45
10 Products That Upgrade Your Home for Less Than $45

Make a fresh start with these affordable Amazon buys.

7 Things That Prove Cheaper Isn’t Always Better
7 Things That Prove Cheaper Isn’t Always Better

These purchases can end up costing you more if you try to go the cheap route.

29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day
29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day

Sometimes, you’ve got to spend to save.

26 States That Won’t Tax Your Social Security This Year
26 States That Won’t Tax Your Social Security This Year

These states don’t tax any residents’ Social Security income whatsoever.

What Is Umbrella Insurance, and Do I Need It?
What Is Umbrella Insurance, and Do I Need It?

Umbrella insurance picks up where other policies leave off. Here’s how to know if you need it.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.