Lithium-air batteries technology may well be on a hot spot with recent work by MIT researchers who identified a genetically modified virus that increased cathode surfaces thus leading to better performances.
In the quest for electric cars with improved driving autonomy, MIT discovered technical beneficial effects to the lithium-O2 batteries technology from adding the M13 virus to the production of nanowires. The virus capture metallic ions from water and biosynthesized a solid manganese oxide wire structure. The rough nanowires surface produced increased the surface area available for the battery electrochemical activity. The results are to enhance the charging-discharging capacities of the battery with a stable bio-linked 3D structure and then increase power per battery weight.
Angela Belcher, professor of Energy at MIT and specialized in biological engineering and materials science explains the M13 biosynthesis process.