The frustration of waiting hours for your smartphone or tablet to fully recharge could soon be a thing of the past - thanks to a new battery made from aluminium that can be charged in under one minute. It is both greener and safer, scientists said.
In a breakthrough Stanford University has invented the first high-performance aluminium battery that is fast-charging, long-lasting and inexpensive. It is also flexible too so can be used in new folding devices in development.
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However the only stumbling block is that it has just half the voltage of present lithium-ion batteries, the study published in the journal Nature revealed.
Professor of chemistry Hongjie Dai said: "We have developed a rechargeable aluminium 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
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"Our new battery won't catch fire, even if you drill through it." Aluminium is cheap and has low flammability and high-charge storage capacity.
But scientists have struggled to make a commercially viable aluminium-ion battery because of the difficulty in finding materials capable of producing sufficient voltage after repeated cycles of charging and discharging.
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The aluminum-ion battery consists of two electrodes; a negatively charged anode made of aluminum and a positively charged graphite cathode along with an ionic liquid electrolyte, inside a flexible polymer-coated pouch.
And while lithium-ion battery can take hours to charge, the new battery has "unprecedented charging times" of down to one minute.