Let’s be honest about it, the lithium batteries we use in our devices are simply not good enough. They discharge faster than is reasonable in our modern, high tech era. Our starter batteries have a decided edge because their devices recharge them on the go. Today, we summarize progress towards a battery for hand-held devices with a decent life span between charges. However the problem is the funding.
Progress Towards a Battery for Devices that Lasts
The American Energy Council says the US spends more money on “potato chips and tortilla varieties” than energy research. Interesting Engineering adds “We have spent 4 billion dollars on energy research. Yet only 1% has been sunk into it over the last 10 years.”
Moreover, the materials in lithium batteries are questionable. Much of them come from unethical sources and they cause havoc with the environment at their life’s end. Therefore, we need to urgently move on towards a battery for our devices that is better than what we have at the moment in all regards.
What’s Likely to Become Available, Looking Ahead?
The Victoria University of Wellington is pushing forward with aluminum-based batteries. Their metal terminals have coatings of highly conductive titanium nitride. However, scientists at the University of Texas have put their money on lithium sulfur batteries after adding molybdenum to the mix.
Not to be outdone, ETH Zurich and Empa in Switzerland plan to change battery components significantly. Because they want to use titanium nitrite in the electrolyte, and replace graphite with the hydrocarbon polypyrene. Finally, researchers at the University of Central Florida intend replacing lithium cathodes with a thin-film alloy of nickel sulfide and iron sulfide.
Research towards a battery capable of holding a decent charge is ongoing. However it seems the industry still remains trapped in the age-old Volta paradigm. Will somebody be brave enough to fund a more radical design, that will match the standards of our high tech society?
Preview Image: Lithium Battery Research at Adelphi