London - For smartphone users fed up with the battery running out, scientists have found the solution… beach sand.

Researchers have discovered that it can be used to make lithium ion batteries like those in mobile phones last three times longer.

The team have called the breakthrough the “holy grail” in battery development.

US postgrad student Zachary Favors stumbled upon the idea while relaxing on a California beach. He picked up some sand and noticed it was made up mainly of quartz, which becomes a power source when turned into silicon.

His team at the University of California Riverside distilled the quartz into silicon and the resulting substance proved key to improving battery performance.

It could mean charging a smartphone every three days instead of every day. It could also apply to electric cars and laptops.

The researchers, whose study was published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, have so far made coin-size batteries but plan to move on to ones for mobiles. - Daily Mail