Researchers discovered that conventional bricks can be turned into energy storing devices according to studies published in the scientific journal, Nature Communications, last August 11. These bricks can be charged to store energy similar to a battery. Through a series of tests, the bricks became powerful enough to turn on LED lights. One of the authors in the study, assistant professor Julio M. D’Arcy, said that the bricks are enough to light up emergency lightings in hallways or power sensors embedded in walls. They are planning to advance to the next level by storing more energy so people could charge bigger gadgets like laptops, directly from the walls.

Researchers took advantage of bricks’ strength and structure. They pumped up gases in succession inside the porous bricks that reacted with the chemical components, coating them with PEDOT, a nanoplastic fiber that conducts electricity. Although these “smart bricks” are supercapacitors, they cannot transfer sustained energy for longer periods. Further studies are needed before these energy bricks become commercially available. Yet researchers continue to be optimistic as this technology could be developed as a new form of renewable energy.