Friday, June 18, 2010

New carbon/air battery stores 10x more energy than li-ion

Like so many things I read over the decades in Popular Science and Popular Mechanics, flying car and personal submarines, I'll believe it when I see it for sale to the public.

Notice that this article is more than a year old... so, where is this miracle battery....?
May. 20, 2009 (3:19 pm) By: Rick Hodgin

At the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, Professor Peter Bruce has developed a battery that uses air as a fuel, called STAIR (St. Andrews Air). Early tests show it has the potential to store 10x more energy than existing lithium-ion batteries for applications like electric cars, mobile phones and notebooks.

The project is funded for four-years and is well into its second year (ending June, 2011). He says, “Our results so far are very encouraging and have far exceeded our expectations”.

The rechargeable air-fueled STAIR battery follows current research efforts looking to replace the expensive lithium cobalt oxide electrodes in existing batteries with more porous carbon electrodes. These, by their very chemical nature, allows the lithium ions and electrons within the cell to react with oxygen in normal air, which acts as a reagent in place of the normal chemicals found inside of a sealed battery.

Should early tests prove out through continued research, such a design will be cheaper to produce than today’s lithium-ion batteries, while providing notably more power, up to 10x that of today’s traditional lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.

See CNet.

Rick’s Opinion

This new battery technology follows a lithium-sulfur battery announced yesterday created by researchers at Waterloo University.

In the past two years, I have seen several new battery technology’s announced. These have included a virus-battery by MIT, a re-vamped lithium-ion battery which can be fully charged and discharged in about 20 seconds, Hanyang University’s silicon-based anode adaptation for lithium-ion batteries, research related to carbon nanotubes being used in batteries, silicon nano-wire-based batteries (creating the 20-hour notebook), and the BetaBattery created by the National Science Foundation, which uses a porous-silicon diode to convert low levels of radiation into electricity.

This is a field of amazing research. It’s just very surprising that none of these amazing products, those promising 3x, 10x, 20x or longer battery lifes, have emerged yet.



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