Current lithium batteries operate on inorganic insertion compounds to power a diverse range of applications, but recently there is a surging demand to develop environmentally friendly green electrode materials. To develop sustainable and eco-friendly lithium ion batteries, we report reversible lithium ion storage properties of a naturally occurring and abundant organic compound purpurin, which is non-toxic and derived from the plant madder. The carbonyl/hydroxyl groups present in purpurin molecules act as redox centers and reacts electrochemically with Li-ions during the charge/discharge process. The mechanism of lithiation of purpurin is fully elucidated using NMR, UV and FTIR spectral studies. The formation of the most favored six membered binding core of lithium ion with carbonyl groups of purpurin and hydroxyl groups at C-1 and C-4 positions respectively facilitated lithiation process, whereas hydroxyl group at C-2 position remains unaltered.
Reddy, A. L., Nagarajan, S., Chumyim, P., Gowda, S. R., Pradhan, P., Jadhav, S. R. . . . Ajayan, P. M. (2012). Lithium storage mechanisms in purpurin based organic lithium ion battery electrodes. Scientific Reports, 2, 960. doi:10.1038/srep00960.