Yes! Very soon rice husk will be used to manufacture lithium ion batteries.
A group of scientists from different institutes from Korea has published their findings in PNAS. In their research paper they have reported that the silica layer present in the rice husk has developed an unique nanoporous structure naturally over a period of time. Taking advantage of this nanoporous structure they converted the silica to silicon and use it for high-capacity lithium battery anodes. The converted silicon exhibits excellent electrochemical performance as a lithium battery anode, suggesting that rice husks can be a massive resource for use in high-capacity lithium battery.
Flowchart summarizing the synthetic procedures to obtain Si from original rice husk
Jung et.al., 2013
In lithium-ion battery lithium ions move from the anode to the cathode during discharge and back when charging. In a recharging battery, the anode is the positive terminal, which receives current from an external generator. The current through a recharging battery is opposite to the direction of current during discharge; in other words, the electrode which was the cathode during battery discharge becomes the anode while the battery is recharging.
|Dr Jang Wook Choi|
'Readily available amount of ricke husk originated silicon is much larger than the current demand of anode materials for li-ion-batteries' reports PNAS First Look, quoting research group headed by Dr Jang Wook Choi.
This alternate innovative findings will certainly help to meet the raw material requirements. In near future more and more devices will use Li-ion reachargeable batteries. A couple of days back, Reliance Jio Infocomm has announced to use Lithium ion batteries in its mobile towers and has ordered to purchase specialised lithium ion batteries worth of thirty million euro (Rs 273 Crore) from a paris based company Saft as reported by The Economic Times.
the readily available amount of the rice husk originated silicon [...] is at least several orders of magnitude larger than the current demand for LIB anode raw materials.” - See more at: http://firstlook.pnas.org/battery-materials/#sthash.3ZKDp6rj.dpuf