Posts Tagged 'Battery'

Hyperdense Materials

This article reposted from the August 27, 2010 ASEE First Bell:

Bacteriophages Used To Create Hyperdense Materials.

The Wired (8/26, Carmody) “Gadget Lab” blog reports that researchers in Angela Belcher’s Biomolecular Materials Group at MIT have used “bacteriophages to build – really, evolve – hyperdense materials from ionic particles,” and “this week Mark Allen, a postdoc in the group, outlined the use of a new cathode made with iron flouride.” Among the potential applications Allen discussed were “wearable battery packs for soliders, first responders, and civilians; tiny rechargable batteries for portable electronics including smart phones, laptops, and GPS; [and] unmanned aerial vehicles, which require lightweight, long-lasting power sources.”

Paper Batteries

New Batteries Made From Paper, Nanotube Ink.

In a story on the New York Times (12/9, Mandel) website Greenwire reports, “Ordinary office paper coated with an inky layer of carbon nanotubes or nanowires can make a lightweight, flexible and highly conductive battery or superconductor, according to Stanford University researchers.” The researchers “had previously experimented with making batteries using a similar process of painting nanomaterial ink onto a thin layer of plastic,” but discovered “that pores in paper fibers make it hold the ink better than plastic, for a more durable battery.” According to the scientists, “the conductive paper could be used in lithium-ion batteries in place of metallic components, where its light weight and scalability would provide an advantage over technologies now in use.”

        BBC News (12/9) reports, “A team of researchers at Stanford University started with off-the-shelf copier paper” that is painted “with an ‘ink’ made of carbon nanotubes,” and “is then dipped in lithium-containing solutions and an electrolyte to provide the chemical reaction that generates a battery’s electric current.” This method “could reduce the weight of batteries… by 20%,” according to the researchers. In addition to being “capable of releasing their stored energy quickly,” a Stanford researcher “said the most important aspect of the demonstration was that paper is an inexpensive and well-understood material – making wider usage of the technology more likely.”

        Clay Dillow writes in Popular Science (12/8) that the technology “could bring paper right back around to its former place of prominence, using it to power the very digital devices — smartphones, Kindles, laptops, etc. — that are increasingly replacing print.” Dillow adds that “the paper battery technology is basically market-ready. That’s not to say that researchers won’t need some time to iron out the kinks, but power sources based on this technology could be commercialized very soon compared to a lot of the nano-noise circulating in scientific circles.” The article also includes a video clip of Stanford’s Yi Cui explaining the device. Technology Review (12/9, Bourzac) also reports the story.

Reposted from ASEE First Bell for 12/8/09

More Power To You

Researchers Developing Improved Lithium-Ion Battery Through Use Of Silicon Gel.

Engineering News (12/4, Smrcka) reports, “Researchers at the Institute for Chemistry and Technology of Materials have developed a new method that uses silicon for lithium-ion batteries. The storage capacity is ten times higher than the graphite substrate that has been used until now, and promises considerable improvements for users.” To make it, “researchers use a silicon-containing gel and apply it to the graphite substrate material.” And “as silicon has a lithium-ion storage capacity some ten times higher than the hitherto commercially used graphite, the new material can store more than double the quantity of lithium ions without changes to the battery’s life.”

Reposted from ASEE First Bell for 12/4/09

Pass the Salt, Please

Researchers Develop Thin-Film Battery From Paper, Salt.

Technology Review (9/15) reports, “Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden have made a flexible,” lightweight rechargeable battery that “uses thin pieces of paper–pressed mats of tangled cellulose fibers–for electrodes, while a salt solution acts as the electrolyte.” The researchers say “the new battery should be cheap, easy to manufacture, and environmentally benign,” and suggest “that it might be used to power cheap medical diagnostics devices or sensors on packaging materials or embedded into fabric.” Currently, the battery “delivers 1 volt and can store up to 25 milliwatt-hours of energy per gram,” and “when providing maximum current, it loses 6 percent of its storage capacity after 100 recharging cycles.” Lead researcher Maria Stromme noted, however, “that these are numbers from an initial laboratory prototype.”

From the ASEE “First Bell” for September 15, 2009.  All rights reserved.

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