And you thought mushrooms were only good for slathering in garlic butter …

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Mushrooms. Sautéd in risotto. Grilled with olive oil and mozzarella.​And now, cooked into batteries that could power phones and electric cars. 


Really. Scientists from the University of California Riverside have discovered that everyone's favourite fungi doubles up as a crafty, eco-friendly replacement for synthetic graphite, which is currently used in lithium-ion batteries.


Said graphite is a bit of a nasty, producing lots of toxic waste as well as being a pretty pricey ingredient. Portobellos, as we all know, are the total opposite. 


So how does it work? 


When making batteries, you need something porous (obviously). This is because they need space for the storage and transfer of energy. The researchers, realising that the earthy numbers fit the bill, decided to give them a go and, like magic, they worked. 


The researchers have filed a patent for the idea and reckon they could have the clever batteries out to the public within a couple of years. 


Will the wonder of fungi ever cease to amaze us? 



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