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Aloe vera plants turned into energy-storing supercapacitors

A battery-like device known as a supercapacitor can be created from different parts of aloe vera plants – and it can be used to make living plants power lights

By Alex Wilkins

29 December 2023

An Aloe vera plant

Aloe vera plants can be turned into living supercapacitors

Aloe vera can be used to make a supercapacitor, a device that stores energy and is similar to a battery but discharges power faster. The supercapacitor can also be installed inside a living plant, to be used to power lights or charge low-power devices.

Yang Zhao at the Beijing Institute of Technology in China and her colleagues have built the supercapacitor almost entirely from different parts of an aloe vera plant, with no additional materials apart from a single gold wire.

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