A team from the University of Washington in St. Louis (USA) has found a way to turn bricks into energy storage devices. In their experiment, they used such modified bricks to operate LED lighting.
The scientists began by coating common red bricks with a conductive polymer called PEDOT. It consists of nanofibers that penetrate the pores of the brick and turn it into an "ionic sponge" capable of conducting and storing electricity.
As a result, ordinary bricks are transformed into supercapacitors that can hold large amounts of energy and charge faster than conventional batteries. By adjusting their number, you can create power systems of greater or lesser capacity, and by covering the entire wall with epoxy resin, they can be reliably protected from bad weather.
During the experiment, scientists demonstrated that a regular brick can be charged up to 3 volts in 10 seconds, and this is enough to then power an LED for 10 minutes. Moreover, this process can even go under water. Walls made of such bricks can be connected to renewable energy sources (such as solar panels) and then powered by sensors or lighting systems. And since every brick is a supercapacitor, it can be charged and discharged hundreds of thousands of times in an hour.
According to experts, the technology developed at the University of Washington is simple and inexpensive to implement. The research materials were published in the journal Nature Communications.