Can you power your smartphone - or even your car - with a battery made from fungi? Engineers at UC Riverside say you can.
Here's the deal - we currently use lithium ion batteries to charge most everything. But the anodes in lithium ion batteries are composed of graphite, which is pricey to make and bad for the environment.
The engineers at UC Riverside developed a battery that uses heat-treated portabella mushroom skin instead of graphite for the anode. The mushrooms' molecular structure is strong but porous, so it can store energy as well as transfer it. And one of the engineers declared in a statement that the battery life would actually increase over time.
It sounds strange now, but many of mankind's most impressive inventions are simply imitating nature. Incorporating nature seems, well, just natural. We'll let you know if and when the mushroom batteries become a consumer reality; check back often to our Happening Now page for the latest in everything tech.