What is the news?
Scientists at Nanyang Technology University (NTU), Singapore have successfully developed ultra-fast charging batteries which can be recharged up to 70 per cent in just 2 minutes. These batteries will have a lifespan of 20 years. Lithium-ion batteries being used currently have a life of about 2 years, so these new batteries will have 10 times more life than the existing ones.
It will be beneficial to each industry but the main advantage of these batteries is expected to be seen in field of electric vehicles. Now people will be able to charge batteries of their cars in few minutes and can save energy along with the cost involved in battery replacement.
Normal phone batteries last for about 2-3 years and 500 recharge cycles. These new batteries have a new gel material made from titanium dioxide which has replaced the traditional graphite which was used for the anode. Titanium dioxide is cheap and found easily in soil.
What’s the science behind it?
The NTU team has developed a method to transform the titanium dioxide into small nanotubes of diameter a thousand times thinner than human hair. This speeds up the chemical reactions in new battery which allows superfast charging. This has been invented by Associate Professor Chen Xiaodong from NTU’s School of Materials Science and Engineering.
Prof Chen added,
“Electric cars will be able to increase their range dramatically, with just five minutes of charging, which is on par with the time needed to pump petrol for current cars. Equally important, we can now drastically cut down the toxic waste generated by disposed batteries, since our batteries last ten times longer than the current generation of lithium-ion batteries”
NTU professor Rachid Yazami, who co-invented lithium-graphite anode 30 years ago that is used in today’s lithium-ion batteries, said Prof Chen’s invention is the next big leap in battery technology.