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Air-fueled Battery Could Last Up To 10 Times Longer

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Via ScienceDaily

 

Quote:

 A new type of air-fuelled battery could give up to ten times the energy storage of designs currently available.

 

{...}

 

Improved capacity is thanks to the addition of a component that uses oxygen drawn from the air during discharge, replacing one chemical constituent used in rechargeable batteries today. Not having to carry the chemicals around in the battery offers more energy for the same size battery. Reducing the size and weight of batteries with the necessary charge capacity has been a long-running battle for developers of electric cars.

 

The STAIR (St Andrews Air) cell should be cheaper than today’s rechargeables, too. The new component is made of porous carbon, which is far less expensive than the lithium cobalt oxide it replaces.

 

{...}

 

Principal investigator on the project, Professor Peter Bruce of the Chemistry Department at the University of St Andrews, says: “Our target is to get a five to ten fold increase in storage capacity, which is beyond the horizon of current lithium batteries. Our results so far are very encouraging and have far exceeded our expectations.”

 

“The key is to use oxygen in the air as a re-agent, rather than carry the necessary chemicals around inside the battery,” says Bruce.

 

The oxygen, which will be drawn in through a surface of the battery exposed to air, reacts within the pores of the carbon to discharge the battery. “Not only is this part of the process free, the carbon component is much cheaper than current technology,” says Bruce. He estimates that it will be at least five years before the STAIR cell is commercially available.

 

Cool stuff.

post #2 of 4

Very cool. Do you know how the technology compares to the Air Car?

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Yeah they're just different technologies.  The Air Car stores energy in the compressed air and then uses it to mechanically push a piston.  It's not very efficient, but the advantage is that it's cheap because it doesn't use any batteries.  This technology uses air to make the battery cheaper and more efficient.

post #4 of 4

My City-el has been very good (weird clanks, buzzes, and groans ignored!) and has racked up many miles for me, but it does not have very good distance. 10 times distance would be excellent if possible! 

 

I seriously doubt it will last 5 years; but improvements like this may help.  Great news!

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