Mental Floss

Virus Could Extend the Life of Batteries

Jill Harness

The tobacco mosaic virus may be a devastating plant blight that destroys over 125 types of crops, including tomatoes, tobacco and peppers, but it also could increase the lifespan of a typical lithium battery by up to ten times. The tiny, rod-like cells of the virus are first coated with conductive materials and then added to battery technology.

Because the virus is the perfect size, can bind to metal and is self-replicating, it's an ideal candidate for use in batteries. The increased surface area created by the virus allows for more conduction, and thus, more battery power. If the research proves fruitful, the new batteries would be so long-lasting that an Amazon Kindle would only need to be charged once a year.