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Scientists Transformed the Awful Smell of Durian Into Energy Storage

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  • The durian has a notorious reputation because of its awful stink, which is in contrast to the creamy goodness of its taste.
  • Scientists used the smell of the fruit’s waste to develop a super-capacitor.
  • Super-capacitors can supply energy to charge electronic devices such as phones and laptops quickly.

The notorious tropical fruit durian, known for its aggressive smell, may have another purpose other than dividing people into loving it or hating it. According to experts, the fruit’s repulsive smell can actually have an ecological use.

Banned in many transportation systems because of its stink, the durian has amassed quite a reputation. But for those who are able to get past the smell, the durian turns out to be one of the most delicious fruits they have ever tasted, with its sweet and creamy meat.

A creamy surprise awaits those who can get past the horrible smell.
Now experts were able to put the famous stink into something very useful – as energy storage.

According to a study from the University of Sydney, the durian’s malodorous waste can be developed as a chemical-free, enery source.

Vincent Gomes, an Associate Professor from the university, explained:

“Durian waste, as a zero-cost substance that the community wants to get rid of urgently due to its repulsive, nauseous smell, is a sustainable source that can transform the waste into a product to substantially reduce the cost of energy storage through our chemical-free, green synthesis protocol.”

The team was looking for new ways to create energy storage devices that has high energy density. This is essential to meet the challenges created by global warming. So they used durian and jackfruit to try making electrochemical super-capacitors.

“Super-capacitors are like energy reservoirs that dole out energy smoothly. They can quickly store large amounts of energy within a small battery-sized device and then supply energy to charge electronic devices, such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops, within a few seconds,” Gomes added.

The team converted the waste portions (biomass) of durians and jackfruit purchased in the market into super-capacitors. They transformed the fruits into stable carbon aerogels by using non-hazardous and non-toxic green engineering method. The method involves heating the fruit’s biomass in water and freezing them to dry.

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