Super battery/graphene battery is not the best yet. Take stock of 12 new battery technologies
A battery is a device that converts energy produced by chemical reactions directly into electrical energy. It has the characteristics of stable voltage, stable current, stable power supply for a long time, little influence from the outside world, simple structure, easy to carry, simple and easy charging and discharging operations, stable and reliable performance, and brings a lot of convenience to modern social life.
In 1800, Italian scientist Volta made a Volta stack by contacting different metals with electrolyte, which is considered to be the first power supply device in human history. Humans have successively invented lead-acid batteries, zinc-manganese dioxide dry batteries with NH4Cl as the electrolyte, cadmium-nickel batteries, iron-nickel batteries, alkaline zinc-manganese batteries and lithium-ion batteries.
As the topic of the Samsung Note7 explosion continues to ferment, the battery, which was once the hero behind the scenes, has once again become the focus of our attention. Many people are worried that we will have to deal with lithium batteries with performance close to the limit for a long time. The answer is of course no. In fact, we still have many new batteries that are ready to break the pattern. Let’s take a look at new battery technologies together.
1. Domestic super battery unveiled
Recently, Extreme Power Technology (Tianjin) Co., Ltd. demonstrated a super battery with "terrifying" battery life and charging capabilities. It only takes 3-5 minutes to fully charge.
The batteries adopt a cylindrical design and are neatly arranged in a row. This design ensures that there are gaps in the middle of each battery to facilitate heat dissipation.
Wei Zhe, chairman of Extreme Power, said that this kind of super battery is mainly used in buses and cranes used to lift containers at terminals. An electric bus requires 297 batteries.
He said, "Our batteries are nickel-metal hydride batteries. Although they are not as thin and light as lithium batteries in terms of size and weight, they are definitely much better than lithium batteries in terms of safety and charging capabilities."
It is understood that at normal temperatures of 20-40°C, the super battery only takes 3-5 minutes to charge and has a lifespan of 5-8 years. When on a gasoline-electric hybrid bus, whenever the vehicle brakes, the super battery can recycle energy, which means it can automatically complete charging. It is estimated that after using super batteries, the fuel saving rate of a gasoline-electric hybrid bus can reach about 40%.
In addition, the battery safety is also better than that of lithium batteries. Super batteries have undergone a series of experiments such as acupuncture, extrusion, high temperature, and falling, and will not explode as easily as lithium batteries.
2. Honda’s commercial magnesium battery is here
Recently, Honda Motor worked hand in hand with a research and development team to develop the world's first magnesium rechargeable battery that can be used in practical applications. It is understood that the cost of magnesium is 96% lower than that of lithium. In addition, it has a longer battery life. Japanese media reported that the new battery may become a disruptive product. After installing the new battery, smartphones and other devices can be charged once Lasts longer.
According to reports, the leader of this R&D activity is Japan’s Saitama Industrial Technology Center (Saitec), and the Honda R&D team evaluated the feasibility of the battery in Wako City. Developers expect magnesium batteries to initially be commercially available in smartphones and other portable devices. Magnesium battery developers hope to have products on sale by 2018. The Honda and Saitec teams will demonstrate the battery at a scientific conference next month in Chiba, near Tokyo, Japan.
It is understood that researchers have encountered the same difficulties when magnesium is used in rechargeable batteries. During the process of charging and discharging, the charging performance of magnesium will degrade rapidly. Based on this, the researchers have developed a new material vanadium oxide. It coats the positive electrode so that ions can flow more easily between the vanadium oxide and magnesium negative electrode. Vanadium oxide can increase the number of times magnesium is charged and prevent decay. To improve safety, the researchers added an organic substance that reduces the risk of magnesium battery fires.
3. Lithium-sulfur battery
Recently, the Japan Institute of Industrial Technology announced that it and the University of Tsukuba have jointly developed a lithium-sulfur battery that achieves long-term stable charge-discharge cycle characteristics by using a metal-organic framework as the battery separator. According to reports, after 1,500 cycle tests at a current density of 1C (the current value when the discharge ends after 1 hour of constant current discharge), this lithium-sulfur battery can still maintain a charging capacity of up to 900mAh/g.
Lithium-sulfur batteries using sulfur as the positive electrode of lithium batteries have the characteristics of high positive electrode capacity (theoretical value is 1675mAh/g), and are highly anticipated as a new generation of storage batteries. When the solar aircraft made its maiden flight in 2008, lithium-sulfur batteries were used. During the day, the photovoltaic panels on the solar aircraft only provide power for flight, and charge their lithium-sulfur batteries to maintain the power required for night flights.
4. Solid lithium battery
The main difference between solid-state lithium batteries and ordinary lithium-ion batteries is that it replaces the traditional organic electrolyte with a solid electrolyte. Traditional lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that use organic electrolytes may cause the electrolyte to heat up due to overcharging, internal short circuit and other abnormalities, and there is a risk of spontaneous combustion or even explosion. Solid-state lithium batteries using solid-state electrolytes not only greatly improve safety, but also greatly improve service life and energy density.
Since solid-state lithium batteries do not contain liquid inside, any problem of liquid leakage is eliminated. Compared with traditional lithium batteries, they are also smaller in size and weight and have stronger adaptability. These advantages are very beneficial to the application of solid-state lithium batteries in energy storage and new applications. Application in the field of energy vehicles. At present, the scientific research community and industry are developing and producing solid-state lithium batteries, and regard them as the most promising new generation battery products.
5. New flow battery
Compared with conventional rechargeable batteries, flow batteries are larger in scale because their form and function are different from common lithium-ion batteries. In a flow battery cell, liquid electrolyte circulates between two tanks, which are separated by a membrane. Charge transfer is achieved when ions pass through the membrane, and the entire process is similar to the power generation principle of a hydrogen fuel cell. Flow battery packs are safer than lithium-ion batteries. Even if they are left for a long time, the power will not be lost, so they are very suitable for storing renewable energy such as solar energy and wind energy.
Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a new organic flow battery using low-cost and sustainable synthetic molecules. Its production cost is about 60% lower than the cost of common all-vanadium flow batteries. This also gives new flow batteries a huge advantage in the field of energy storage.
6. Liquid metal battery
Liquid metal batteries convert chemical energy into electrical energy through the redox reaction of liquid metal. The characteristic of the battery is that the metal is in a liquid state. Taking advantage of the fluidity of the liquid, the liquid metal battery has high-rate charge and discharge performance and the scalability of the battery system. This also enables the liquid metal battery to meet the dual applications of energy and power, and is widely used in large-scale applications. There are broad application prospects in large-scale energy storage.
A team of researchers from MIT has developed a new all-liquid metal battery system that is cheap to build and has a long service life. According to the research team, this device could allow renewable energy sources such as wind and solar to compete with traditional energy sources.
7. Blade green battery
A team of researchers at the University of Maryland recently developed an inexpensive new material that will serve as the negative electrode in a new generation of batteries. In experiments, the team found that when oak leaves are heated to 1,000 degrees Celsius, their carbon-based structure will collapse, and the remaining material can then accommodate electrolytes. The team is also currently testing other natural materials, including peat soil and banana peels.
8. Fast charging graphene battery
It is known that the life of a battery will gradually shorten as the number of charges and discharges increases, and researchers at Australia's Swinburne University of Technology are trying to solve this problem. They have developed a new type of graphene battery. This battery not only has super fast charging capabilities (a few seconds), but also has extraordinary durability. The developers have specified a lifetime of use. The use of graphene materials overcomes all the shortcomings of traditional batteries. At the same time, this product is also very environmentally friendly and cheap.
9. Batteries made of sugar
A team from Virginia Tech has developed a battery made of sugar that has the advantage of having a long battery life. Researchers isolated maltosaccharin from sugar, which is the energy source for the new battery. When maltosaccharin comes into contact with air, the battery releases electrons to generate electricity. Because sugar is cheap and plentiful, the new battery costs less and, most importantly, is biodegradable.
10. Non-rechargeable nanowire battery
This battery was completely discovered accidentally by researchers at the University of California, and it makes traditional lithium batteries useless. R&D researchers made nanowires from gold and then combined them with new materials. This combination greatly increased the number of charge and discharge times of the battery, and the battery performance did not decay as the number of charges increased.
11. Self-destruct battery
The self-destruction battery is not aimed at the mass market, but it can show its talents in special fields, and it also overcomes the previous problem of disposable batteries polluting the environment. The battery, developed at Iowa State University for military use, can be detonated with light, heat or liquid. In addition, even if it enters the water after detonation, it will not cause pollution to the water body.
12. Edible salt water batteries
This battery takes the concept of environmental protection to the extreme. In order to justify the name of its own battery, Aquion Energy's Witker actually chewed off a battery and ate it (it certainly wasn't very tasty). The battery's components are made from biologically derived materials, which could be dust, cotton, carbon or salt water before transforming into a battery. However, this battery is not prepared for mobile devices. It has to do "big business", such as being a backup power supply for homes or companies, and the power it provides is environmentally friendly wind or solar energy.
Lithium-ion batteries also have major bottlenecks in terms of utility, such as energy density, safety, and cost. It is believed that with the development of new technologies, new batteries will continue to compete with lithium-ion batteries for the market in the future. Of course, the market battle for new and old batteries may still take some time, but in the future, new battery technology will bring a safer experience at lower costs.
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