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International Journal of Molecular Sciences




Biopolymers are an emerging class of novel materials with diverse applications and properties such as superior sustainability and tunability. Here, applications of biopolymers are described in the context of energy storage devices, namely lithium-based batteries, zinc-based batteries, and capacitors. Current demand for energy storage technologies calls for improved energy density, preserved performance overtime, and more sustainable end-of-life behavior. Lithium-based and zinc-based batteries often face anode corrosion from processes such as dendrite formation. Capacitors typically struggle with achieving functional energy density caused by an inability to efficiently charge and discharge. Both classes of energy storage need to be packaged with sustainable materials due to their potential leakages of toxic metals. In this review paper, recent progress in energy applications is described for biocompatible polymers such as silk, keratin, collagen, chitosan, cellulose, and agarose. Fabrication techniques are described for various components of the battery/capacitors including the electrode, electrolyte, and separators with biopolymers. Of these methods, incorporating the porosity found within various biopolymers is commonly used to maximize ion transport in the electrolyte and prevent dendrite formations in lithium-based, zinc-based batteries, and capacitors. Overall, integrating biopolymers in energy storage solutions poses a promising alternative that can theoretically match traditional energy sources while eliminating harmful consequences to the environment.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.