Scientists at the Singapore based Nanyang Technology University have made a next step breakthrough in battery technology. They have created batteries that can recharge to 70% in just two minutes, and which last an estimated twenty years before degrading.
As devices of all types become increasingly more sophisticated, an problem plagues the consumer technology industry: how can they be powered? One of the biggest complaints from smartphone users, for example, is the short battery life, and how often they have to be charged. A more recent call for batteries in electric vehicles, which offer a real alternative to gas guzzling models, has been heard across the world. Which is where this latest project was based.
Out of the box solutions are being established for the mobile device problem, but now a more direct approach may have been discovered for electric cars.
These batteries can be rapidly recharged in just two minutes, the average amount of time it takes to fill up at the pump. The twenty year shelf life means those who buy electric vehicles can stop worrying about the steep cost of regularly replacing the battery. A deterrent that has kept many who otherwise support alternative driving from making the switch.
The batteries work by using a traditional lithium ion design. However, instead of using graphite for the negative pole, it has been replaced with a titanium dioxide based gel material. It is easier to produce, safer to use, and much cheaper than graphite, and doesn’t have the negative impact on the environment that can contaminate soil.
In fact, titanium dioxide has been safely consumed by humans, and directly applied to the skin via sunscreen lotion. It is a pretty impressive claim, and a brilliant use of an already known component.
The project has been headed by the batteries primary inventor, Associate Professor Chen Xiaodong.
Obviously, this is more than just a discovery for the use in electric cars. Battery life and function is a concern for all industries, and once they have a grant to produce a working prototype, production can’t be far behind. They just have to establish their proof of concept, and there will be any number of eager investors chomping at the bit.
Which means others are going to be waiting to apply the same research and development to other battery types, and then there will be a scramble to start producing them for other consumer tech products.
Fingers crossed for a phone that doesn’t have to be charged once or twice a day! Oh, and mass appealing electric cars, of course.