Scientists have come up with a safer alternative to the lithium-ion batteries that are prone to explosions. The lithium-ion batteries are commonly used on smartphones, laptops and other such portable devices.
The researchers at the US Naval Research Laboratory have come up with Ni-Zn (nickel zinc) batteries. These batteries have a 3D Zn sponge that actually replaces the positively charged electrode or powered zinc anode used in the traditional batteries. The 3D Zn provides an energy content and rechargeability that different from the Li-Ion batteries. This way, these new type of batteries are safer than the usual ones.
Notably, the zinc-based batteries are the future solution for the single use appliances but these are not considered rechargeable in reality due to their tendency to develop conductive whiskers or dendrites inside the battery. These can grow too long that they result in short circuits. The rechargeable zinc-based batteries are possible by controlling the tendency of zinc during cycling.
It is ensured that the electric currents are distributed more uniformly within the 3D Zn sponge so that it becomes difficult to grow dendrites within the battery, says one of the researchers.
Apart from these benefits, the 3D Zn sponge can be deployed within the Zn-based alkaline batteries in the military and civilian sectors, they say. This way, it can offer a great alternative in manned or automatic electric vehicles, portable and wearable devices. The Ni-Zn batteries will reduce the safety hazards and ease the transportation restrictions.
These days, a lot of battery revolutions are taking place and we can expect any of these to replace the Li-Ion batteries effectively. Lately, we even saw that supercapacitor batteries might be a great alternative to the traditional one.