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  • Batteries suck, you know it, I know it, we all know it and it's the one thing everyone

  • on Earth can come together and sing about.

  • Will this new technology be the hero we deserve?

  • Hey friends, countrymen, battery haters, this is DNews, I'm Trace.

  • A battery is typically two metals, one that gives up electrons (called an anode), and

  • one that takes them (called a cathode), connected through an electrolyte -- something that can

  • move the electrons around easily.

  • Electrolytes are usually liquids or gels, but isn't keeping a liquid in your laptop

  • dangerous?

  • What if we could just get rid of it altogether?

  • Well that's the challenge.

  • Because big batteries, like those in your car, have a liquid electrolyte they require

  • a rigid plastic or metal casing to keep the battery connections stable.

  • But most batteries you use are Lithium-ion, where the cathode and anode are connected

  • using an electrolyte made of an organic gel, called a polymer.

  • Polymer electrolytes can use light-weight plastic casings, and can be made in different

  • sizes which is great for new electric cars and portable devices.

  • But there's a problem

  • Their tendency to explode.

  • Electrons flow from the anode to the cathode through your device, and that's how you're

  • probably watching this right now.

  • But Lithium is highly reactive, and if the battery casing is punctured the reaction of

  • lithium with the moisture in the air can cause the gel electrolyte to catch fire

  • OR as my chem teacher used to say, an "energetic reaction.”

  • Also, as an added suck, lithium-Ion batteries also don't work well in the cold, and because

  • the gel is organic the more times they're used, the less charge the batteries can move.

  • But the future is coming!!

  • The lithium works great, and the electrons are doing their job, but the gel is the problem.

  • So, scientists are working on a way to get that gel OUTTA THERE.

  • Every battery since Alessandro Volta's original voltaic cell of copper, zinc and a salt bridge

  • -- has used liquid or gel components.

  • But what if we could make an electrolyte that was just a solid piece?

  • Research published in Nature Materials might have done just that!


  • Building on another paper from 2011, researchers created a solid electrolyte that can move

  • the electrons just like the gel, but without the mess of explosions, sensitivity to cold,

  • and, you knowgel.

  • They did this using a 3D tetrahedral framework of Lithium, Germanium, Phosphorous, and Sulfur.

  • The framework lets electrons move through it, hopping from one molecule to the next

  • for hundreds of thousands of charge cycles!

  • Because it's solid, you could "drive a nail through the battery," and it won't explode

  • -- nice.

  • And surprisingly, it functioned at negative 20 fahrenheit (-29C)!

  • One of the researchers commented that this design could be "almost a perfect battery,

  • solving most of the remaining issues [that batteries have]*."

  • It's super experimental.

  • So far, the design is very limited and can only produce 5 voltsthe iPhone 5 battery

  • put out 3.8 volts.

  • Obviously, more research is needed.

  • And other papers are coming out with alternative solid electrolytes, but this one is promising.

  • On top of ALL that, scientists figure, because they don't have to accommodate a gel, they

  • can add MORE individual cells of power, upping battery density by 20 to 30 percent, all while

  • bringing down overall cost.

  • Meaning these potential solid-state batteries will be safer, cheaper and will last longer.

  • Sounds hot.

  • Lithium-Ion batteries are rechargeable because they've been designed that way, but why aren't

  • all batteries rechargeable?

  • I've got the answer for you RIGHT HERE!

  • Do you hate batteries?

  • Want a solid state one for your phone?

  • Tell the world!

Batteries suck, you know it, I know it, we all know it and it's the one thing everyone

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B2 US gel battery lithium electrolyte solid anode

Are Solid State Batteries The Perfect Battery?

  • 3 1
    joey joey posted on 2021/04/12
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