The race is on to find a cheaper process for making storage batteries to power electric vehicles. Sodium-ion batteries are a viable alternative to lithium ion, and scientists in an Estonian University have come up with a way to use the carbon from the plentiful peatlands in their country to manufacture them. The decomposed peat cannot be used as fuel or for agriculture and will not release trapped carbon dioxide, an ever-present concern for environmentalists. In addition, it “is a very cheap raw material -- it doesn't cost anything, really," says Enn Lust, head of the Institute of Chemistry at the university.

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