Women in Nanoscience


Women in Nano Blog

Emily Cranston builds rechargeable batteries made from plants

Posted on November 1, 2015 at 7:40 PM

The phrase "a car that runs on water (or air)" is an epitome that is often used to imagine sustainable future technologies for transportation. We can add to this list a car that could run on energy stored in nanocellulosic material from plants, thanks to Prof. Emily Cranston at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

(Group in the lab. Dr. Cranston is in the front middle.)


Emily Cranston, an assistant professor of chemical engineering, and her colleagues recently demonstrated the fabrication of an energy storage device made of nanocellulose -an organic compound found in plants, bacteria, algae and trees. Cranston and her colleagues processed nanocellulose into a foam-like structure, which renders the lightweight characteristic of the new material. By trapping functional nanoparticles within this nanocellulosic structure, the team produced a capacitor with a higher powder density and faster charging abilities than conventional rechargeable batteries. More details on this work can be found in Advanced Materials.

(Dr. Cranston with two of her PhD students at the ACS in Denver, with the Mole Mascot. Dr. Cranston is 2nd from the left.)


Cranston's research focuses on developing sustainable nanocomposites, thin films with a focus on nanocellulosic materials, and studying surface forces and interfacial engineering. More about Prof. Cranston can be found on her website.

(Dr. Cranston's group at a hockey game).

WiN also applauds McMaster University for recently giving all its women faculty a pay raise of $3000 (US) to close the gender gap in salary that they found in an analysis of their own institution. The gender salary gap in the US is much larger, $19,000, according to AAUP.

(Dr. Cranston's group bowling).

- Written by Eugene Choi, Edited by Paulette Clancy

(The Cranston group represented in legos).

(Photo credit: Provided by and used with permission from Dr. Cranston).

Categories: WINnews

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