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Accidental breakthrough could lead to batteries that last 400 times longer

By Shawn Knight ยท 37 replies
Apr 22, 2016
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  1. The problem with modern rechargeable lithium battery technology – well, one of the many problems – is that over time, the materials on the inside become corroded which lessens their ability to hold a charge.

    While working to find a solid-state replacement for lithium, researchers at UC Irvine inadvertently stumbled upon a breakthrough that could change how future batteries are constructed. It’s not quite the holy grail of battery technology we’ve been waiting for but it’s impressive nevertheless.

    Researchers replaced the lithium with gold nanowire coated in manganese dioxide and set in electrolyte gel. Again, the idea was to replace the liquid inside common lithium batteries as they’re extremely combustible and sensitive to temperature. What they found was that the gel interacts with the metal oxide coating to create a protective sheath around the nanowire, effectively eliminating corrosion.

    The team cycled the “battery” through 200,000 recharges over a three-month period and noted that it lost just five percent of its capacity. According to Popular Science, the technology could lead to consumer batteries that last 400 times longer than today’s batteries.

    It’s worth noting that the researchers’ test platform wasn’t a true battery; that’ll be built and tested as part of future work.

    One of the hurdles the technology currently faces is cost. Even the tiny amount of gold used in the test platform was expensive and would drive up the cost of manufacturing. Reginald Penner, a lead author of the study, suggests that a more common metal such as nickel may be able to replace the gold should the technology catch on.

    Permalink to story.

  2. umbala

    umbala TS Maniac Posts: 197   +176

    Has it already been another 6 months?? It seems at least twice a year we see some new, amazing, pie in the sky battery technology that promises to revolutionize our current crappy batteries. As always, I'll believe it when I can buy at at Walmart or on Amazon.
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,478   +3,036

    If we take all the battery "breakthroughs" published in the last 5 years, then by now our entire civilization should be living off a single AAA battery.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
    Joba83, p51d007, Rippleman and 13 others like this.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,393   +5,020

    We should lower the value on gold, so that it can be productively used instead of sitting in someones vault collecting dust from greed.
    SalaSSin and alabama man like this.
  5. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,715   +2,514

    Low gold prices are what got it put in those vaults in the first place. High gold prices ensure that a good bit of it will go back onto the market. No, what's really needed is an affordable way to MAKE gold. We can do it on a very small scale but its costs more to transform base metals into gold than the value of the gold created.
  6. Zenodroid

    Zenodroid TS Booster Posts: 132   +28

    Won't do any difference with the grow on screen size and resolution. So 4 hours more isn't worth it.
  7. David Brinton

    David Brinton TS Rookie

    Well, you know how it goes. 400 longer means 800 times more expensive. So, they do their market studies and find there's no market at the price they need to sell it for.
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,393   +5,020

    You didn't catch my meaning. I was meaning lower the value by freeing it from being the foundation of our currency.
  9. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,209   +670

    Someone needs to go back to history class. Gold (or any other precious material; silver, platinum, diamond, etc) hasn't been the backing for any major currency for decades now. Money has value because the govt says its does. This is why inflation is a thing, whatever your feelings may be on inflation (on one hand, a loaf of bread costs more. On the other, equity is easier to come by for the 'every man')
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,393   +5,020

    Try again!
  11. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Maniac Posts: 277   +165

    That's great for an integrated battery you can't change inside a device, but for removable batteries it would not work economically because the battery manufacturers need us to buy some regularly. They won't make a profit if it last too long. So they won't welcome this.
    For electric car it's another story. To have the assurance that the battery can last longer than the car would be another good reason to make the switch. The only down side that would remain would be the poor range. 2 or 3 hundred KM per charge is far from enough. We need 1000 km per charge to win over a huge portion of the drivers around the world.
  12. PurpleYoda

    PurpleYoda TS Enthusiast Posts: 46   +15

    Whaaaa??? 8-/
  13. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,941   +1,490

    I've heard this before.
    DaveBG likes this.
  14. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,966   +223

    We should add a tag for "amazing battery breakthrough" on Techspot.
    But I'm afraid the list might become so long that it crashes the server.
    But if we did and combined all the efforts we would be flying 747's on triple A batteries.
    Oh, and the space shuttle would go to the moon with 6x "D" batteries.
    SalaSSin, Burty117 and DaveBG like this.
  15. DaveBG

    DaveBG TS Maniac Posts: 413   +155

    New month new "many times" better batteries story emerges. Will be forgotten after a few days and we will be talking about the next inane breakthrough that will also never see the daylight.
  16. SirChocula

    SirChocula TS Maniac Posts: 174   +183

    I got bad news for you buddy. Our currency hasn't been on the gold standard in a long while...
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  17. Nice.my Z3 should last 67000 hours if I can replace the stock battery with this one.
  18. kuroiei

    kuroiei TS Enthusiast Posts: 93   +31

    I think the title adds a bit of confusion. It's not a battery than have "400 times the capacity", it's a battery that can be "charged 400 times more".
  19. Xtreme gamer

    Xtreme gamer TS Enthusiast Posts: 64   +19

  20. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,390   +3,779

    I would have to agree ... we have heard about so many breakthrough's over the past 5 years that you would think at least ONE of them would come to market, but I suspect that batteries are a lot like pharmaceuticals in that as long as the companies can keep us dependent on the old technology, the more we buy. Creating such a "wonder battery" would certainly cut their profits, particularly since they will have a hard time marketing a battery that could be 400x the current price!

    Here's a project that Bill Gates could fund for "the betterment of mankind" .... but I seriously doubt he could care less, one way or the other.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  21. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,397   +303

    Without reading the article, does the breakthrough center on "non-greedy manufacturers of batteries" ? :)
  22. Zenodroid

    Zenodroid TS Booster Posts: 132   +28

    they try to make batteries better and better, but they also makes phone screens and resolution bigger and higher. so the actual effect of the better battery, wont have any effect, bc it will be out beaten by the screen and resolution. so its actually a waste of money on making that, since the phones using it, will just be bigger and more clear on using the battery as fast as the batteries 3 years ago.
  23. Canada has a fiat currency as well
    "Fiat money is currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but is not backed by a physical commodity"
  24. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,393   +5,020

    Are you so naive you can't see what happened. They placed a false illusion that we are no longer based on gold. As long as the gold remains fortified, it will always be the baseline. The illusion that was placed on our currency not being based on gold was to protect the gold repositories because they didn't want everyone believing the link was still there. The only way to completely break the link would be to clear out the United States Bullion Depository.

    Just because
    doesn't mean our currency in no longer based on gold. The fact they have locked up all the gold and fortified its existence proves it.
  25. audioman83

    audioman83 TS Rookie Posts: 17

    You're not too good with economics are you?

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