Chemists from Stanford have developed a new kind of aluminum battery, similar to aluminum foil in appearance, capable of out-performing the lithium-ion cells in your smartphone.
Historically, aluminum batteries have not fared too well, generally degrading after merely 100 recharge cycles.
The new battery from Stanford swaps out lithium from the cell in favor of aluminum, which serves as the negatively charged electrode in the battery, with graphite playing the role of the positive cathode.
The electrolyte comes from the entire thing sitting within a salt, liquid at room temperature.
I mentioned above that past aluminum batteries generally fail fast, with a low number of recharge cycles. Li-on batteries, on the other hand, typically begin to suffer after 1,000 cycles.
Incredibly, Stanford’s new cells can undergo 7,500 recharge cycles without losing capacity!
The new batter has the ability to charge extremely quickly and “won’t catch fire, even if you drill through it,” said Stanford chemistry professor Dai Hongjie, who created the cell, in a press release.
Below is a list of a few obstacles this new technology must overcome:
- The cells can only muster 2 volts across their electrodes
- Incapable of packing energy into themselves as efficientlyas li-on batteries at the moment
- Store just 40 watts of electricity per kilogram, compared to 200 or so for li-on batteries