Battery Technologies That Are Going to Change the World
Battery Bob's Blog
3 Battery Technologies That Are Going to Change the World
Many people don’t think much about batteries at all. They simply throw them into their electronic devices and then charge them up when it’s time to do so. However, there are actually several battery technologies in the works that could actually change the world! Let’s investigate.
MakeUseOf posted an interesting article called Battery Technologies That Are Going to Change the World, in which they outlined the top three ways this is about to happen. First up is are dual-carbon batteries. Today most batteries are lithium-ion, which. As the article points out, "besides not being as energy-dense as we might like, there are other serious limitations to existing lithium-ion battery technology – notably charge time, volatility, and degradation.”
The answer to these issues comes in the form of a dual-carbon battery. It replaces both the anode and cathode of the battery (otherwise known as the positive and negative terminals) with plain carbon. As a result, the battery addresses many limitations you’ll find with current batteries.
In fact, they can charge as quickly as 20x faster than lithium-ion batteries. They also don’t produce heat when they’re working, which means they’re much less likely to catch fire, and they degrade more slowly – they’re good for around 3,000 cycles.
Next up are lithium air batteries, which draw oxygen from the atmosphere, and produce oxygen while recharging. IBM is one of the many companies pursuing this technology, even calling it the "holy grail of battery technology.”
When using atmospheric oxygen instead of storing oxygen in the battery, as most do, the storage density is significantly reduced, which can offer gains of up to 40x when compared to typical lithium cells. The result? Electric cars that could travel thousands of miles on a single charge. Though this technology is somewhere between 5 and 15 years from being ready for the market, it’s an exciting advancement indeed.
Finally we have graphene ultracapacitors. These are more speculative than others on this list – they don’t just improve batteries, they get rid of them entirely! Basically, instead of using batteries this idea uses capacitors, which are essentially charged plates that are separated by a resistor.
Electricity is basically stored in the capacitor and then discharged later. As the article notes, "conventional capacitors have serious limits to the amount of charge they can store, as well as how slowly they can release that charge. However, by using materials like graphene, which have enormously high surface areas for their mass and volume, it’s possible to create cells with enormous capacitance and energy densities comparable to conventional batteries.”