The king of fruits — keeping both your stomach and phone batteries full

Yep, you heard me right; I’m sure your mind didn’t immediately jump to charging phones when thinking of the pungent, yellow fruit that you’ve been feasting on this durian season. Neither did mine, but hear me out. What if I told you that it was scientifically proven that durians and jackfruit could charge your devices exceptionally quickly, would you try it?

A photo of jackfruit

A team of researchers at the University of Sydney developed a method to convert waste from consumed durians and jackfruits into energy stores, which can be used to charge electrical devices, such as your tablets, phones, and even laptops. Turning waste from the familiar spiky fruit into super-capacitors could substantially reduce the cost of energy storage and result in an environmentally friendly, exceptionally fast charging ability as compared to standard batteries. I’ll bet the duality of the durian to feed both you and your phone never crossed your mind.

So, how does this even work? These fruits are selected because of their porosity and large surface areas before they are converted to a carbon aerogel using a nontoxic method of green synthesis that is also chemical-free. These fruit-derived aerogels are then tested for their energy storage properties, of which durian and jackfruit demonstrated an outstanding performance. This means that the feast you had recently can be converted into a low-cost and effective way of charging the device you’re reading this article on. If that isn’t something to give you pause, I don’t know what will.

a shot of a cross section of a durian

The world’s rapidly depleting stores of fossil fuels call for sustainable alternatives. Durians, being naturally-derived supercapacitors, might just pave the way towards a greener (pun intended) future of high efficiency, energy storage devices.

The non-toxic and non-hazardous green engineering method that uses heating in water and freeze-drying the biomass of these durians and jackfruits means that your everyday electronics can be charged in a matter of seconds. For those who are curious about finding out more, the report of this study can be read here.

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