back to article Boffins build ant-sized battery, claim it's tough enough to start a car

Electronics continue to shrink to ever smaller sizes, but researchers are having a tough time miniaturising the batteries powering today’s mobile gadgets. Step forward, bicontinuous nanoporous electrodes. Smartphones use smaller power packs than they did five years ago, it’s true, but that’s because their chips and radios are …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. NukEvil
    Mushroom

    Meh...

    I'll look for this in 10 years or so...

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Meh...

      Thank heavens for negativity like yours; I mean without that we might actually be making progress in the world...

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Meh...

        I'm with you M'Lord. No idea why you got a downvote. Stupid people I guess.

        The amount of people who immediately post on some sort of research tech with this sort of shit is astounding. It's as if they don't want this research to be done. Thank god there are some people who do actually do this sort of research, whether successful or not. If the commenters here did it we would still be living in caves, using flaming torches for lighting.

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Meh...

          Hazarding a guess that the downvote is from the OP :-)

          One thing that research critics frequently miss is that whilst a laboratory development may well miss the original objective, it is rarely wasted. It becomes a solution ready and waiting for the right problem to present itself.

          Two examples that spring to mind: the accidental development of the post-it note (3M research scientist looking to develop an ultra-strong glue missed the project goal but accidentally invented the post-it), and laser eye surgery (scientist invents ultraviolet laser that appeared to do nothing except cut skin, considered worthless at the time until it was realised that it could be used to reshape corneas with no thermal damage to the surrounding tissue).

          Research is never pointless.

        2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: Meh...

          James, they wouldn't be using flaming torches - someone would have had to experiment with them, and that would have been a waste of time. Far better to just cower in the dark.

          1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

            Is that you Tony Blair?

            I'd recognise you vision and foresight anywhere.

  2. Chazmon

    The problem with this is in order to satisfy modern safety concerns the anode and cathode must be separated by some find of polymer membrane. This is almost always the rate limiting step and is a large part of why Li ion batteries are not as good as they should be.

    Having said that it still represents a step forward. That particular technique for producing nano structures has been around for years but this is a nice commercial angle.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Given that abused li-ion batteriy cells become "terrorist" cells and explode with byproducts being leaked including hydrofloric acid, personally i'm all in favour of erring on the side of safety and building all of the safety features in that are physically possible.

      And even then we still get occasional devices going up in smoke.

      1. Danny 14
        Mushroom

        indeed. Especially when battery powered devices are mighty close to the crown jewels for most of the day.

        1. Christoph Silver badge

          Quite - I really don't want to carry around enough power to jump start a car in my trouser pocket.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Now imagine that much power right next to your brain. Mobiles, or more permanently in the shape of Google Glasses. We may need to start paying attention now to what powers a device..

  3. Measurer
    Stop

    ???? Whot, no......

    Carbon Nanotubes????

  4. Frankee Llonnygog

    3-dimensional electrodes

    Call me picky, but all electrodes are 3 dimensional

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He didn't say "three-dimensional"

      ... but he should have done.

    2. GreenOgre
      Boffin

      Re: 3-dimensional electrodes

      <over simplification>

      The conventional electrode is 3D but the part that reacts (the exposed surface) is pretty much 2D - think "outside surface of a tube", surface = 2 x Pi x radius x length.

      "3d" electrodes have much more complex reactive surfaces - think "lots of hollow spheres with both inside and outside exposed", surface = 8 x Pi x radius(squared) x number of spheres.

      </over simplification>

  5. John Angelico
    Coat

    So is this the...

    LIMO of batteries?

    I'm goin', I'm goin'!

  6. SiempreTuna
    FAIL

    I've lost count of the number of stories I've read over the years about awesome advances in battery technology that will increase battery capacity two fold, ten fold or in this case so many fold that a battery a few square millimetres in size could start a car.

    What I want to know is: what happened to 'em?

    Coz they all say they'll be on the market in 5 years, I've been reading about them for 10 years but my phone battery still only lasts a day

    1. Locky
      Coat

      A day?

      You must be using it wrong. If I get less than 2 weeks out of mine I'm disappointed.

      Yeah, mine's the one with the Nokia 6310 in the pocket

      1. Def Silver badge
        Go

        Re: A day?

        I generally charge my HTC 8X once a week, give or take a day or so. Suffice to say I'm suitably impressed with the battery life.

        1. sisk

          Re: A day?

          I can get 2 days from my Galaxy S2 if I don't use it....

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: A day?

        Perhaps Nokia should re-introduce the 6310i and other classic phones, it might boost sales...

    2. itzman

      in the end electricity storage is governed by a few very basic laws and you cant break em.

      Chemical (battery) or electrostatic (capacitor) storage may improve, but not radically. What would be nice is to e.g. find a way to exploit nuclear binding energy without the need for a 2,000 tonne shielded reactor, an oversized kettle and a steam turbine..

      Imagine a penny sized widget with a 2 pin socket in it, capable of delivering 100W for 10,000 years..

  7. frank ly

    ... a power density of 7.4mW cm−2 μm−1 ....

    That may be its delivery capability, but what is its storage density in mWh compared to other battery technologies?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ... a power density of 7.4mW cm−2 μm−1 ....

      RTFA?

      http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v4/n4/extref/ncomms2747-s1.pdf

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ... a power density of 7.4mW cm−2 μm−1 ....

      mWh is not a unit of energy storage density.

      1. Asiren
        FAIL

        Re: ... a power density of 7.4mW cm−2 μm−1 ....

        Er...

        (dropping size units)

        Wh / m3

        =

        energy / volume

        =

        energy storage density

        No?

        1. GreenOgre
          Boffin

          Re: ... a power density of 7.4mW cm−2 μm−1 ....

          Yes,

          mWh / m3 = energy density

          mW / m3 = power density

          e.g. How hard it can kick, not how many times it can kick.

          1. Asiren
            FAIL

            Re: ... a power density of 7.4mW cm−2 μm−1 ....

            D'oh, thanks guys.

            So, not much use if it can pack the punch of a bullet but can only release it all in one go like a bullet (as supposed releasing slowly like a candle). Gotchya.

            And to the AnonIdiot, the...

            Oh, forget it. If you don't understand after 3 posts, you're not going to understand now.

        2. M. Poolman
          Boffin

          Re: ... a power density of 7.4mW cm−2 μm−1 ....

          Not quite: cm^2 . μm yields a dimension of volume so overall we get power.volume^{-1} (power density), but multiplying cm by μm looks definitely a bit odd.

          However, it's W, not Wh, so we have power, not energy, density that is being described. It's a critical difference, if our ant size battery can only supply this power for a fraction of a second it's a non-starter. If it can sustain that for several hours, then we have something pretty spectacular.

          1. itzman

            Re: ... a power density of 7.4mW cm−2 μm−1 ....

            its a measure of its impedance, (power density) rather than storage. I.e. is more like a capacitor than a battery. will go BANG if shorted, rather than smoulder and burst into flames.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ... a power density of 7.4mW cm−2 μm−1 ....

          Idiot.

          There are no 'm3's in "mWh"

          Can't you read?

  8. Rustident Spaceniak
    Paris Hilton

    Bliss professorship and Dr King?

    So what's this, a King-size battery that's Bliss for mobilie users? Or a Bliss that makes you the King of electric appliances?

    At any rate, when I read that the same people who invented it are now looking for ways manufacture it in quantities, I can't help thinking of Buckyballs.

    Paris because Bucky isn't around...

  9. Jon Gibbins
    Boffin

    The problem with batteries ...

    ... is that when manufacturers make longer and better lasting batteries, tech companies make kit that just wants to consume more and more power.

    If you stick one of today's phone batteries into a Nokia 3310 it'll probably last months without a recharge. (Just theoretically, obviously.)

    1. Crisp

      Re: The problem with batteries ...

      Well duh! When you design hardware, you design it with the limitations of the technology at hand.

      If there were 6KWh batteries the size of a pinhead, you can bet that mobile phone manufacturers would add some feature that would drain that battery in minutes.

      1. Danny 14
        Trollface

        Re: The problem with batteries ...

        like 4G

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Meh

        Re: The problem with batteries ...

        "Well duh! When you design hardware, you design it with the limitations of the technology at hand."

        The real world life expectancy of every laptop and mobile I've ever seen suggests that theory is in fact rubbish.

      3. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: The problem with batteries ...

        "Well duh! When you design hardware, you design it with the limitations of the technology at hand."

        Not in the case of mobiles, with these you design it to work within the limitations of technology that will be on the market in ~5 years time, you then crowbar it into today's technology and launch as the latest must have...

  10. G R Goslin

    Magnesium?

    Shouldn't that be Lithium Manganese Oxide? The Beeb has it as LiMnO2

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Nice to see the 'Graduate Student' who apparently came up with this getting some sort of attribution on El Reg, didn't see his name in any other press releases about this, for some reason (Yes, I know the reason)?

  12. Piro

    So..

    I'm not looking for instant mass market availability, but if you make stupid claim like "can start a car from a fag packet sized battery" or something to that effect, show a good quality video of exactly that. I don't care if it's a prototype that cost a ton - just show it, no tricks.

    If not, how about waiting to actually find the thing is viable before trying to attract gullible investors.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: So..

      Classic vicious circle. Without investment it may well never make it to the prototype stage, without a working prototype investment may be hard to come by. If the tech has genuine promise that would be a shame.

      Of course now the paper has been published we could just sit back and wait until the Chinese manufacture it...

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: So..

        Care to explain the downvotes? Not that it's important in the scheme of things, just curious how anybody could find this worth logging in to downvote!!

        1. Don Jefe
          Happy

          Re: So..

          Foolish Reg reader, come here and expect reason. Psssht.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So..

          Your "Classic vicious circle" is no such thing. The original poster was talking about gullible investors, i.e. those who have not got the sense to look behind the claims before investing. They hear the hype and then invest based on that.

          At this stage, the only ones investing should be those who have the sense to look behind the curtain and are therefore fully aware of all the risks involved.

          Protecting the gullible does not stop the smart ones from investing if they view it as a good investment, hence no vicious circle and therefore a downvote.

      2. Piro

        Re: So..

        For what it's worth, I did not downvote you, even though I think the original point stands.

        They're making claims to dazzle people because the truth would probably be less glamorous. But in reality, potentially more interesting.

        I agree it's hard to get funding on projects like this - but then there are a lot of "green" companies in recent years that have had investment in - and have fallen apart. So, there's that precedent.

    2. ilmari

      Re: So..

      Current comercially available technology is roughly on the order of a D sized lithium-ion battery being able to start a petrol car engine. That's not capacity or energy though, it's power. The Energy in a Li-ion like that is about the same as in the much smaller (by dimensions and weight) battery in your phone.

      As for 3D electrodes, Edison invented a similar thing for the Edison battery. If I've understood (and remembered) correctly, he made thin sheets of material, which he then shredded coated onto thin sheets, which were shredded and coated onto sheets, repeated until he arrived at a sheet with a total surface area several orders of magnitude larger than the dimensions as measured by a ruler :)

  13. stu 4

    man - that would be awesome

    It would be the tech I've been waiting for to make electric paramotors that weighted nowt, and had a massive range. bring it on!

    stu (google 'powerlord69' if you don't know what a paramotor is)

  14. Asiren
    Mushroom

    Wouldn't house-sized batteries solve out green energy needs?

    If the density is that great, and it scales, build it huge and we can store all the solar/wind/tidal we need.

    Though it would also be quite a large security target... (Icon)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jump start a car

    OK, let's do the math.

    Typical starting current for a car - somewhere between 100 and 500 amps. Let's assume 100A to make it easy.

    Nominal voltage: 12V

    Power to start a car: 1200W

    Volume of this battery needed: 16 cm^3

    So for once, the claim of a battery a few millimeters in size is almost believable (granted, it would be a few millimeters in thickness, and centimeters in width and height).

    units

    You have: 1200W / (7.4mW/cm*cm*um)

    You want: cm^3

    * 16.216216

    / 0.061666667

  16. Sir Lancelot
    Joke

    Boeing 787 - Batteries not included

    Boeing might be interested...

  17. Lee D Silver badge

    Every single battery technology I have ever heard of has come to nothing. Literally a dozen or more articles a year on places like Slashdot, The Reg, etc. all backed by "Bliss Professor" (whatever that is, sounds like a good job) or similarly qualified people, all telling me how the technology will scale, all telling me that it's more powerful than anything before, all telling me that it all works in the lab.

    Every single battery technology that was a provably commercial advance - I'd not heard of it until it was on the market and selling and then the commercial market actually improved it. I can remember when laptops used Ni-MH and the first Lithium battery (apart from coin-cells etc.) I saw was in a laptop a friend had bought. I didn't even know it was possible until I was holding it in my hand.

    I'm not saying that a LiPo didn't start off in a lab somewhere, but if you pay attention to every battery-in-a-lab that appears to work wonders, you get incredibly disappointed when NONE of them appear on the market even 25 years later. And then you'll start ignoring them all and only paying attention to ones that do appear on the market. It's nice to know "this exists in a lab somewhere" but for any practical use "this can be bought by me for a decent price from somewhere" holds infinitely more weight.

    As with everything from Wii to iPhone to supercapacitors to Kickstarter campaigns and everything else: It's easier to wait until you can buy - because what does it matter before then anyway? - before you get excited about anything. That way, you don't spend years waiting for no-shows to arrive, possibly ignoring other commercially-viable products in the meantime.

  18. Gene Cash Silver badge
    FAIL

    Crap battery management

    Old devices had really small batteries, so they paid attention to where every microwatt went.

    Nowadays, they don't seem to care. For example, if I'm working at home all day using wi-fi, and I manually switch off mobile data on my Nexus 4, the battery will last at least 2, maybe 3 days.

    If I don't switch it off, I see instances where I turn it on after a while and it's using BOTH wi-fi and mobile data, and the battery life is evaporating like chocolate in a laser beam.

    And this is Google's supposedly most advanced top-of-the-line Android. Idiots.

    1. JeffyPooh
      Pint

      Re: Crap battery management

      "...the battery will last at least 2, maybe 3 days. ..."

      One (1) full day of battery life should be enough for almost anyone, assuming that they live in a house with a live electric power outlet available somewhere near their bed.

      Trying for a 2nd day is an admirable goal, much the same as holding your breath for two full minutes. Utterly pointless.

      1. Martin Budden Bronze badge
        FAIL

        Re: Crap battery management

        JeffyPooh, you must lead a boring life that doesn't involve any road trips, camping, weekends in the country etc. Are you sitting in your mum's basement right now?

        1. JeffyPooh
          Pint

          Re: Crap battery management

          "...road trips..."

          Most cars have 12v power sockets. My Mercedes E-Class luxury saloon car has several, including one in the trunk for the political prisoner. A "road trip" is not really a good example of a situation where electrical energy is not readily available at least once a day.

          "...camping..."

          On the rare occasion where we might camp, as opposed staying in a 4 or 5 star hotel with indoor plumbing and room service, I tend to bring along multiple satellite and shortwave radios to receive BBC, other two-way radios and satellite TV, battery packs, solar panels and so on. It's the tech challenge, not just mere survival eating beef jerky and pooing in the bushes. Also, 90% of "camping" is right beside the aforementioned car anyway. If you're back packing into the wilds (no service) and/or you object to dragging such technology along (like *your* mobe), then why is this an example to support your point?

          "...weekends in the country..."

          Sleeping where? On the ground, or in a luxury resort (with power)?

          Worrying about the 2nd day of power in a mobile battery is 99% foolishness. Seriously. Think about it. Everyone grumbles about it even when they're sleeping in their own bed at home. Rubbish!

          PS: No, not Mom's basement. Multiacre waterfront property of our own. Just one of several properties we own in various longitudes. Not kidding. Boring? LOL. Thanks for asking. :-)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Crap battery management

            @JeffyPooh

            You had some good points and good counter arguments there - I was going to upvote you but then I saw your "PS" and had to downvote instead. Why would you write that?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Crap battery management

            No harshing the jerky! Bring the jerky home man, chew it on the veranda like a real man! ;)

          3. Pet Peeve
            FAIL

            Re: Crap battery management

            Thanks for confirming that you do live in mum's basement, Jeffy. If you had that stuff, you wouldn't feel the need to obsessively list it in a comments thread, you'd just by enjoying it.

  19. Alan Brown Silver badge

    starting cars

    A 1980s-vintage NiCad Tamiya racing pack had more than enough oomph to start a car (The starter batteries on light aircraft are generally nicads too). It's all about being able to supply enough amps, as another poster pointed out.

    It'd be nice if the capacities being talked about are there though, as long as they don't turn into pocket grenades when overheated.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: starting cars

      You may need momentary max of 400A at 12V to overcome friction in a stopped cold motor initially dropping to 250A or a little less.(according to the Aussies)

      http://www.uniquecarsandparts.com.au/how_it_works_starter_motor.htm

      Seems you might need up to 800A though, for a somewhat larger motor like say the "small" 3.5 - 4.4L Buick V8 derivatives in RR/LR and TVR etc ...

      http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070225112149AAIivZV

      A "normal" modern high-compression 1.6L 4-cyl 16V uses a 1.2kW nominal starter motor and a 60Ah battery .... no fuses in the main starter circuit and wires as thick as possible!

  20. BornToWin

    Bring it on !

    Get to work to bring this tech to market at a reasonable price and they will change the world for the good.

  21. unwarranted triumphalism

    Prediction

    I'd definitely like to see this productionised. Unlike some people who shall remain nameless, I think it will be in far less than 10 years.

    Just think of it - electric cars with 1,000-mile ranges with small underfloor batteries.

    And then the Vulture Central Oil Industry Defence Brigade will arrive - 'USELESS! The ONLY conceivable use for any vehicle requires 2,000 miles between recharges! This will NEVER be any good, scrap the whole idea NOW.'

  22. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Keep in mind it's still V 0.1 tech

    So it's better than the best supercapacitors.

    Supercapacitors are good at high rate dumping and absorbing power. The actual capacity (compared to regular batteries, but not capacitors) is pretty bad.

    Perhaps it's 2000x better than other micro batteries, but I suspect most batteries scale down badly.

    At micro and nano scales materials can be used that fail at larger scales because their bulk properties (IE their conductivity) are not good at meso scale. They only work at this scale, but the conditions at this scale means they turn an unworkable architecture into a practical power source.

    Cautious thumbs up but it's yet another battery chemistry which will need an infrastructure to support it.

    Here's the thing. It's novel. That does not equate to better and by "better" I mean against the existing battery form factors and chemistries that are already commercially available.

  23. Don Jefe
    Meh

    Research Bad News & Laboratory Products

    I truly believe that a lot of laboratory technologies die in their cribs because the researchers get overexposed to a generally ignorant and cynical public (the Internet has made this far worse) and it simply crushes their spirits. Add to that the fact that when you are working with any new technology there is only bad news & more questions than answers and you end up permanently closing off doors in what started out as an innocently curious mind.

    Personally I'm all for scientists and researchers working in an underground bunker away from the bullshit and letting sociopath business people deal with the money side of things but the entire 'ecosystem' of science has gotten so screwed up that researchers have to go begging for money and selling their souls to get to do anything.

    1. Steven Roper
      Boffin

      Re: Research Bad News & Laboratory Products

      If people are ignorant and cynical it's because they're sick of snake oil salesmen promising the moon wrapped in cellophane and then never delivering. People aren't born cynical, they get that way because talk is cheap and bullshit is common.

      My cynicism switch is triggered by people talking about inventions that improve on current technologies by orders of magnitude, like this article - that's when I start rubbing my beard and saying things like "oh yeah, sure..." because my life experience has taught me, repeatedly, that big talk goes with hot air.

      For me the two biggest causes of this syndrome are data storage devices, and portable energy sources. I've lost count of the number of times I've seen articles about researchers inventing umpteen-petabyte-in-a-matchbox holographic crystal storage devices but, years later, the largest hard drive I can buy is STILL only 4 TB. I'm not expecting to see anything much bigger than a dozen TB at most come to market in the next 5 years - if it does I'll eat my own socks and post the video on YouTube.

      I have the same attitude to battery promises as well. I don't know how many times I've read articles about the next big thing that will revolutionise battery technology only for it to vanish in a puff of vapourware and never mentioned again.

      That's the crux of the problem and the cause of the cynicism: a single article like this appears in the likes of El Reg and Ars Technica and then is never mentioned again. No follow-up articles, no progress reports, no "this time last year we reported on...", nothing. That's why people get cynical.

      And the reason that these things only ever appear once is that a lot of these "inventions" are the products of graduate students doing something for their thesis or paper in order to obtain that degree or other certificate that they hope will get them a nice cushy job in a corner office somewhere. Once they have the piece of paper and the cushy job, the invention joins the millions of other inventions buried in the archives of some university library and is never looked at again. Once the students graduate, their university projects usually come to an abrupt end - and the fabulous invention we've been promised evaporates in a puff of library dust.

      So if this cynicism is crushing researchers' spirits, maybe those researchers should consider the benefits of keeping the public updated on the course of their research. If I saw even one article mentioning progress on a technology that was reported a year or so ago - even just once a year would suffice, because I understand that it can take a few years to bring a prototype to market - just keeping people updated on the development progress would go a long way toward assuring us that this wasn't just another student's graduation ticket to be buried in an archive box once they've got their bit of paper.

      Until then, I'll just keep rubbing my beard and saying, "yeah, sure mate..."

      1. Colin Miller

        Re: Research Bad News & Laboratory Products

        Err. T-flash has a storage of 200 megabytes / mm^3. A 3.5" hardrive full of them has a nominal capacity of 73 TB. That assumes the same amount of actual storage cells per unit volume.

        I'm not sure how much of a t-flash card is the cells, the controller, connectors and packages, nor how well this would scale to a 3.5" enclosure.

  24. Mr Young
    Happy

    I for one hope...

    I live to see the day battery tech matches hydrocarbon storage! We would also need something big and powerful to charge them all - nuclear should be up for the job;

  25. Martin Budden Bronze badge
    Go

    Great news for electric vehicles!

    Very very fast charge times and very high power density fix two of the three problems with today's EVs.

    (the third problem, where to get clean 'leccy from, will be fixed when we go nuclear)

    1. Charles Manning

      Re: Great news for electric vehicles!

      You forgot problem 4:

      Grid overload: Getting the leccy from the generators to the homes to charge em.

      1. Martin Budden Bronze badge

        Re: Great news for electric vehicles!

        If I'm charging at home I want it to charge slowly while I'm asleep, no grid overload from that.

        For highway recharging stations the answer will have to be fatter transmission lines to the highway recharging stations. Admittedly this will add something to the capital cost but I hope this will be offset by the lack of any refuelling tankers like we currently have going to all petrol stations twice a week.

  26. Pet Peeve
    Coat

    I have no joke here, I just like saying "interdigitated".

  27. mfritz0
    Mushroom

    Great for hand held energy weapons

    This design will one day make the gun obsolete. You will have hand held laser pistols that actually work now. Oh man, you know this is already here if we know about it. Be sure NOT to ever carry one of these batteries in your pockets with coins, ouch!

  28. Charles Manning

    Even if it is 4-dimesional....

    A few mm cubed battery jump starting a car is an extremely extravagant claim.

    Cranking currents are hundreds of amps. The physics doesn't stack up.

    1. Martin Budden Bronze badge
      Coat

      Re: Even if it is 4-dimesional....

      Electrons are small. You just won't believe how minutely, minimally, mind-bogglingly small they are. I mean, you may think it's a short way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just elephantine to electrons.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hello ray guns!

    Cause cool.

  30. Palf
    Holmes

    That's 7.4 * 10^7 W/m^3, about 10x the best Li-ion batteries (1500 W/Kg, 5 gm/cc)

  31. MachDiamond Silver badge

    step two

    The complimentary research that needs to be done along side making the battery is how to disassemble it efficiently. With all of the regulations being enacted today, making recycle-ability a priority is important. I imagine that there will be somebody ready to work on the problem with gold and lithium on board.

    The technology sounds interesting and I hope that is turns out to be feasible as a commercial product. There are many pseudo inventions that might work if they had a good enough power supply (such as the aforementioned ray guns).

    Also, I would be much happier if my cell phone had at least 2 days of battery life with reasonable usage. I usually plug in at night, but every once in a while I forget or can't. My only option (if it's a work day) is to plug it in with the car charger and not be able to use it until I've put some amps in the can. I work for myself and not having my phone handy is an issue. I have spare batteries now and a separate charger for them as a backup. I pity those with non-replaceable batteries. What do you do if your iPhone goes flat?

    1. Martin Budden Bronze badge
      Joke

      Re: step two

      "What do you do if your iPhone goes flat?"

      What people did in the days before iPhones. Whatever that was.

  32. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Makita Laser tools

    A line of high power tools like a laser drill and plasma cutter all with a spare battery and quick charger nicely contained in portable plastic box and available at your local DIY shop for £99.99.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds interesting

    Wonder if the bismuth-magnesium "alloy" documented in Art's Parts was actually a lithium-ion cell circa 1947?

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020