WASHINGTON (TIP) : Portabella mushrooms may be key to making efficient and longer-lasting batteries that could power cellphones and electric vehicles, scientists say.

United States researchers at the University of California have created a new type of lithium-ion battery anode using portabella mushrooms, which are inexpensive, environmentally friendly and easy to produce.

Engineers were drawn to using mushrooms as a form of biomass because past research has established they are highly porous, meaning they have a lot of small spaces for liquid or air to pass through.

That porosity is important for batteries because it creates more space for the storage and transfer of energy , a critical component to improving battery performance.

In addition, the high potassium salt concentration in mushrooms allows for increased electrolyte-active material over time by activating more pores, gradually increasing its capacity.

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