Tag Archives: Batteries

Materials that will bring better Aluminium batteries

Giant Strides have been moving towards research and production of aluminum batteries. Different teams are working hard to ensure the production of sustainable Aluminium batteries. Recently, Standford University scientists released the first high-performance aluminum battery that can last for a long period, charges very fast and is not expensive. The battery makes use of graphite electrodes. However, life is dynamic, and a team of Switzerland scientists who work at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich has identified two major materials that can be used in Aluminium ion batteries. The first is Titanium Nitride also know as Tinite, corrosion-resistant material and the second is an electrically conducting polymer called polyprene.


Tinite (TiN) is a tough ceramic material used for coating substances like Titanium alloys, Steel, Carbide, and Aluminium to improve their surface properties. It also has high corrosive resistance. Titanium Nitride is needed in the production of Aluminium batteries because the electrolyte needs to make an aluminum battery is exceptionally corrosive, it is dangerous to steel and other materials that can be found in the battery. Since Titanium Nitride can coat aluminum components, it was tested alongside other materials and was discovered to be the only material with the capability to survive prolonged contact with the electrolyte.

Another advantage of Titanium Nitride is that it can be produced anytime without glitches or complaints about lack of materials for production as the elements; Titanium and Nitrogen which are needed to produce it are easily accessible.


Another aspect the team took into consideration during their research was energy storage. They knew safety they should be their number one priority and they dealt with that by coating the super corrosive electrolyte with Titanium Nitride. However, the team knew that people not only wanted but also needed long-lasting batteries, so they decided to search for new electrodes. The result of their research was polyprene; an electrically conducting polymer formed from pyrene.

Polyprene can be used to replace graphite as the positive electrode because it has higher energy storage capabilities. Also, the space in polyprene’s molecular chains allows the large ions of the electrolyte to pass through the electrode material easily. Another feature of polyprene that places it above graphite is the ability to control the material’s porosity which can be optimized for specific applications.

Titanium Nitride and Polyprene will increase the production of low cost but high-performance batteries and also ensure the creation of better aluminum batteries.

Solid State Li-ion Batteries – High Energy-Dense Batteries Are Closer Than Before

The Interuniversity MicroElectronicss Centre (IMEC) is an independent research center which deals with nanoelectronics and digital technologies. Their headquarters are situated in Leuven, Belgium. Recently IMEC began to research and prototype Solid State Lithium-ion batteries. Solid State batteries are batteries which make use of solid electrodes and electrolytes. There have been a lot of research about Solid – State batteries, however, IMEC has moved from research to producing its first prototype.

Prototype Battery

The battery produced has an energy density of two hundred Wh/L, can be charged within two hours and can accept a charge of 0.5 C. This was achieved through the use of Solid State electrolyte. Nanocomposite electrolyte with high conductivity features was used. The electrolyte starts out as a fluid before solidifying. Unlike liquid electrolyte-based batteries, batteries based on Solid State electrolytes have “inherent safe operating characteristics.” Here’s a scenario: Throwing a normal battery against the wall might cause it to burn due to the liquid electrolyte which is flammable, however Solid State Lithium-ion batteries don’t have anything to burn because lithium is not flammable in its solid state.


A Solid State electrolyte has almost no degradation reaction left. Therefore it can last through ” hundreds of thousands of cycles.” Secondly, solid-state electrolytes are compatible with metal like lithium anodes thereby affording it the opportunity to obtain very high energy densities targets. This means that higher energy densities can be derived from Solid State electrolytes. Furthermore, fluid electrolytes based Lithium-ion batteries cannot perform well in extreme cold. Solid State electrolytes are capable of working under really low temperatures.

Another advantage is that the dense ceramic electrolyte prevents Li-dendrite shorting and overcomes thermal stability issues of currently used organic liquid electrolytes. The all-solid-state structure provides revolutionary dimensional tolerance and mechanical strength, decreasing packaging requirements and system weight.

Some of the potential applications of this will be :

  • portable electronics (such as laptops or cameras).
  • electric cars.
  • home storage systems for the smart grid.
  • future smart household appliances and autonomous robots.

IMEC hopes to achieve the development of a battery with an energy density of 1000Wh/L and charging time of 30 minutes (2C). The quest for solid-state batteries isn’t stopping with IMEC alone – MIT is in partnership with Samsung, and they have formed a team to work on Solid State batteries and electrolytes. The University of Maryland is also currently working on their own Solid State Lithium-ion battery. With the way things are going, it will not be long before liquid Lithium chemistry is completely replaced by Solid State electrolytes.

New Batteries with 3 & 15 Times Energy Density

With the rapid growth of battery-based devices and tools, efficient energy storage systems are becoming more and more important. Of course there are many researches running around the world working on novel battery technologies. Two new cell technologies are working to deliver energy density of 3 and 15 times of conventional lithium cells.

The first is a group of scientists from Rice University, they solved the dendrite problem of commercial lithium-ion batteries providing a three times capacity rechargeable lithium metal battery. Dendrites are whiskers of lithium that grow inside batteries, and they can cause fires like those in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. They are considered a major issue for next-generation lithium batteries.

Lithium metal coats the hybrid graphene and carbon nanotube anode in a battery created at Rice University. The lithium metal coats the three-dimensional structure of the anode and avoids forming dendrites. Courtesy of the Tour Group.
Lithium metal coats the hybrid graphene and carbon nanotube anode in a battery created at Rice University. The lithium metal coats the three-dimensional structure of the anode and avoids forming dendrites. Courtesy of the Tour Group.

The main idea of the research is to coat high conductive hybrid graphene and carbon nanotubes with metallic lithium. These low density and high surface area nanotubes have space for lithium particles to slip in and out as the battery charges and discharges.

“Lithium-ion batteries have changed the world, no doubt, but they’re about as good as they’re going to get. Your cellphone’s battery won’t last any longer until new technology comes along.”  – James Tour, leader of the research team

A prototype of a battery with 3.351 Ah/g capacity, retains 80% of the original capacity after 500 charge cycles.

In Japan, and especially at the NIMS (National Institute for Materials Science), another research is working to create a Lithium-air battery that has the highest theoretical energy density because it uses oxygen in air. Its capacity reaches 15 times of the conventional Lithium batteries.

The electrode material has an enormous surface area thanks to ​​carbon nanotubes. Researchers achieved 30 mAh/cm² capacity in the lab, which will be amazing if realized in a commercial product. Work is ongoing to produce real practical samples with high energy density and a system to filter impurities from the air.

Source: Elektor

ChargEST, A Travel Adapter To Charge Your Devices

When you travel, it’s a bit frustrating to fill your luggage with lots of chargers, cables, and adapters to fit your charging needs. In addition to the space it takes which makes it harder to bring every kind of charger you may need.

ChargEST is designed to become your charging companion anywhere in the world you might be, so you can power up all your devices with a single accessory. It is compatible with USA, UK, Europe, Australia and 150 other outlet and plug standards, that charges cable-less up to two mobile devices with its fast-charging integrated pins and any other devices with the three USB ports.

The ChargEST is a small 8x8x4 cm portable device that fits in your pocket. It is built using high-quality materials and has three fast-charging USB ports, GoGreen on/off button, two height adjustable MicroUSB pins, and USB-C and Lightning plug extensions. You can charge up to six devices at the same time with 6.3A total charging power.

Safety comes as a top priority for ChargEST. Equipped with child-proof design and protection for overheating, short-circuit, voltage variation, and overcharging, you can be assured of having a safe charging experience every single time.

In addition to the ChargEST adapter, there are another two versions: ChargEST Bank, and ChargEST Double. The Bank provides you with extra 6300mA battery for your ChargEST to stay charged wherever you are on the go. It can fully-charge your iPhone or Android smartphone up to 3 times and also has an additional USB outlet to charge any other device.

ChargEST Double is the same of the original ChargEST but with an extra socket to connect other devices.

Six days left for the Indiegogo campaign with a goal of $20,000. However, they raised around $200k till now.

An Introduction to LiPo Batteries


Average Man Vs Raspberry Pi has a handy article on LiPo batteries.

LiPo batteries – to fear or not to fear? Up until very recently, I was petrified.

Whilst most other competitors at Pi Wars 2015 were happily using this angry and volatile battery technology, Average Man over here was assuming he was playing it safe using heavy NiMH battery packs in AverageBot.

I was first introduced to LiPo (‘Lithium Polymer’) batteries during my days playing with RC cars. At that time they seemed to have the label of “an advanced new battery technology that needs expert care or they’ll blow your face off“. That was enough to put me off, I’m far too pretty.

Fast forward many (I won’t say how many) years and LiPo is commonplace –  the world seems to have forgotten how dangerous these little 3.7V packs are – or maybe the technology has improved?

An Introduction to LiPo Batteries – [Link]

Supercapacitors to replace batteries?

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by Martin Cooke @ elektormagazine.com:

It was reported last year that researchers at Rice University in the US, led by chemist James Tour had developed a method of producing a form of graphene on commercial polyimide plastic sheet by zapping it with a laser. The process is called LIG (Laser Induced Graphene). The resulting graphene layer is not a conventional flat sheet made up of hexagonally-organized atoms but instead a spongy array of graphene flakes attached to the polyamide, giving a greatly increased surface area. This property can be exploited to build supercapacitors.

Supercapacitors to replace batteries? – [Link]