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This curious battery is capable of storing six times more charge than conventional ones, according to its creators

Get batteries to last longer. That is one of the great objectives of current research in this area. There have been great advances in this field and now an international team of researchers led by Stanford University claim to have developed a battery that, in their own words, “can hold up to six times more cargo than currently marketed“.

The research was published on August 25 in the journal Nature and it details the operation of the batteries of alkali metal-chlorine. These are based on the chemical conversion of sodium chloride (NaCl2) or lithium chloride (LiCl2) to chlorine.

For now it is just a prototype


As the researchers explain, the discovery of this type of battery was “fortuitous.” They assure that “chlorine is too reactive and difficult to convert again in chloride with a high efficiency “and that” in the few cases in which others have achieved a certain degree of rechargeable, the performance of the battery has been poor “.

The researchers’ idea was not to create a NaCl2 or LiCl2 battery, but rather existing batteries using thionyl chloride (SOCl2). However, in one of their experiments with chlorine and sodium chloride they discovered that “the conversion of one chemical substance into another had stabilized in some way, leading to some recharge capacity“.

The big find came when they formed the electrode using a porous carbon material developed by researchers from the University of Taiwan. The structure of this material is similar to a nanosphere with many very small pores. These hollow spheres act like sponges absorbing large amounts of chlorine molecules and storing them for later conversion into salt within the micropores.

As the researchers explain, “the chlorine molecule is trapped and protected in the tiny pores of the carbon nanospheres when the battery is charged. […] Then when the battery needs to be drained or discharged, we can discharge the battery and convert the chlorine to make NaCl [sal convencional] and repeat this process for many cycles. We can currently cycle up to 200 times and there is still room for improvement. “

Researchers claim that its battery has a capacity of 1,200 mAh per gram

This very interesting process results in a higher energy density. While current lithium-ion batteries have a capacity of 200 mAh per gram, the prototype developed by these researchers has 1,200 mAh per gram, six times more.

For the moment, this battery is just a prototype which would be suitable for small appliances or devices, such as a remote control or headphones. However, the researchers hope that their batteries can be used in the future in devices where charging cannot be frequent, such as satellites or remote sensors.

Via | Stanford University