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Talk about lightweighting. Rice University researchers have figured out a way to – wait for it – spray paint the components of a lithium-ion battery onto any hard surface, suggesting that someone looking to get a little rechargeable power can make like Earl Scheib.

The mad scientists in question spray-painted, air-brushed and hand-painted materials that make up a traditional battery onto surfaces such as bathroom tile, glass, steel and, heck, beer steins, all for the sake of getting that electrical charge.

The details involve nanotubes, carbon black particles, cathodes, graphite powder and a bunch of other materials sure to please anyone who had an easier time passing 10th-grade chemistry than this reporter (read more about it here, and check out the video here). Some of the batteries were even charged by solar cells, giving the rare opportunity for hippies and graffiti artists to unite for the common cause.

The Rice scientists have filed for a patent on the process, and for good reason. Check out an explanatory video below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      PR
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder if they have ever done body paint.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      But do they have to look like nerds?
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        ;-) They look like they may be foreigners and if they are then GIVE THEM GREEN CARDS NOW! We need more innovators like that.
          Rob Mahrt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          @ EZEE, that would be called The Dream Act, congress voted it down last year. Come to America, get a degree or join the military, when you are done you are a citizen. Letting productive, smart, tax payers stay in the country? What a crazy idea.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          I would go for that. Come to USA. Invent something cool. Stay in USA. Works....
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      I didn't know Ray Romano was into battery making
      Tim W.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Seriously? You report on this incredibly inefficient battery, but totally ignored the Tin Anode story? Shame! http://news.wsu.edu/pages/publications.asp?Action=Detail&PublicationID=31776 http://www.forbes.com/sites/uciliawang/2012/05/23/tin-the-secret-to-improving-lithium-ion-battery-life/ http://www.gizmag.com/tin-whisker-battery-anode/22905/
        Yespage
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Tim W.
        This will have great possibilities with small, portable electronic devices that will no longer require the need for having a compartment for a rigid battery. The uses for a car would seem very limited, but this is a pretty interesting development.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Yespage
          And, maybe they will get more efficient in the future. Or, slap on a solar cell and maybe a little ridge-vent type fan to keep the interior cool. Let's look on the bright side people... :)
      1guyin10
      • 2 Years Ago
      So you could have solar cells on the roof and the paint of the building is a storage battery? Interesting?