Intrigued by sand, a team of scientists took some to the lab and milled it down to the nanometer scale. They followed by doing a series of purification steps changing its color from brown to bright white, similar in color and texture to powdered sugar.
Following the first tests, salt and magnesium were grounded, both very common elements found dissolved in sea water into the purified quartz. The resulting powder was then heated. With the salt acting as a heat absorber, the magnesium worked to remove the oxygen from the quartz, resulting in pure silicon.
The scientists were pleased with the result of the tests. And in the mean time they have discovered something new. In the very porous 3-D silicon sponge like consistency, was formed a pure nano-silicon. That porosity has proved to be the key to improving the performance of the batteries built with the nano-silicon.
This improvement can be applied to the performance of silicon based electric vehicle batteries to expand their lifespan up to 3 times or higher, and that would impact the market as the usual replace cost a lot of money for the consumers. If applied to cell phones ad tables, it could mean having to recharge just every three days.
The scientists are still working to produce a large quantity of the nano-silicon beach sand and eventually to move from a somehow theoretical size battery to and bigger battery for the consumer electronics.