From Packing Boxes To Packing A Punch

Apr 9, 2015

Professor Vilas Pol's work takes the peanuts on the left and strips away all but their carbon, leaving the black husks on the right, which can then be powdered and turned into a battery component.
Credit Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Think about the last delicate package you received. When you opened the box, there’s a good chance it was also full of packing peanuts – huge numbers of which go to landfills each year.

But Purdue researcher Vilas Pol sees another use for the ubiquitous packing material. He envisions a time where instead of decomposing, the packing peanuts are helping to power electrical devices.