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Researchers build new quick to recharge aluminum-ion battery

2015-04-07 10:33 by
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Scientists from Stanford University in California have invented a cheap and long-lasting battery made of aluminum for use in smartphones. The battery looks like a scrap of kitchen foil and is bendable, allowing it to be used in potentially flexible devices.

"We have developed a rechargeable aluminum battery that may replace existing storage devices, such as alkaline batteries, which are bad for the environment, and lithium-ion batteries, which occasionally burst into flames," said Hongjie Dai, a professor of chemistry at Stanford who created the cell.

The battery consists of two electrodes - the negatively charged electrode (anode) is made of aluminium, and graphite was used for the positive cathode. This is not the first time when aluminium is used in batteries. In the past, aluminum batteries have failed fast, with life of just 100 recharge cycles.

The main advantage of the battery is its fast charging time - just a minute is enough for it to reach full capacity. It is also safe and "won't catch fire, even if you drill through it."

Unfortunately, it will take some time until the battery become a viable consumer product. Currently, the aluminum prototype can generate only two volts of electricity, which is more than the 1.5-volt AA and AAA batteries consumers currently use, but still about half the voltage of a typical lithium-ion battery.

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