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Aluminum Battery Created with Improvements Over Lithium Batteries

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 06:59AM

Battery technology is a big deal as so much of our life uses devices that rely on them, in one form or another. While we may rely on them, there are some aspects to these batteries we dislike, such as slow charging speeds and potential safety hazards. Researchers at Stanford University may have developed a solution though by creating a rechargeable aluminum battery.

Aluminum is actually the most common metal on Earth, so it is very cheap, and because it has great potential for storing electrical charge, many have tried to make a battery with it before. One of the challenges preventing these batteries from existing has been the search for materials to produce a useful voltage from such a battery. The Stanford researchers were lucky in that regard as they accidentally found that a simple solution of graphite could act as a very effect cathode. They then built a prototype battery consisting of an aluminum anode, graphite cathode, and liquid electrolyte, all inside a flexible polymer-coated pouch. This design has many useful properties to it, including the electrolyte being liquid at room temperature and the components not being flammable, unlike lithium ion batteries. In fact the researchers drilled a hole through the battery, and it still functioned, and were also able to bend and fold it, while it worked. Besides these mechanical properties, the prototype battery can also be charged in just a minute and survive 7500 cycles before losing capacity. Lithium-ion batteries tend to last about 1000 cycles, for comparison, and previous aluminum batteries only survived about for 100.

While there are definitely more than enough properties to warrant further research into this technology, it does still have one significant flaw. The aluminum battery can match and exceed the voltage of AA and AAA batteries, but comes to only half that of a lithium-ion batteries. The researchers believe that improving the cathode can raise the voltage and energy density enough to compete with modern batteries.



Source: Stanford University

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El_Capitan on April 07, 2015 14:54

Yeah, I just read about this this morning. Pretty exciting.

IVIYTH0S on April 07, 2015 15:18
Sweet, hey even better AA's and AAA's are welcome for now!

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