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Pomegranates could help your smartphone battery last 10 times longer

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Pomegranates could help your smartphone battery last 10 times longer
We all could use longer lasting batteries on our smartphones, and now researchers at Stanford have discovered a way to extend the life of lithium-ion batteries by using silicon to help them hold a charge. The problem with silicon, though, is that during charging it has a nasty habit of swelling and breaking. It also reacts to the electrolytes  in the cells and ruins the circuitry.

Keeping silicon from swelling is the secret to longer lasting battery life

Keeping silicon from swelling is the secret to longer lasting battery life

Still, silicon can play a very useful role when it comes to recharging batteries. The material stores as much as ten times the power as lithium iron batteries. So the question then is how to store the silicon in the cells without it swelling and mucking up the insides. Scientists at Stanford were inspired by the clusters of pomegranate seed. To prevent swelling, silicon nanowires are covered with carbon yolks that allow for swelling on the part of the silicon. The yolks are arranged like pomegranate shells so that the electricity can flow while keeping the silicon protected.

Let's just say that this experiment was fruitful for the Stanford eggheads. Stanford professor Yi Cui said that after 1000 cycles of charging and recharging, the "pomegranate-inspired anode operates at 97 percent capacity".

"While a couple of challenges remain, this design brings us closer to using silicon anodes in smaller, lighter and more powerful batteries for products like cell phones, tablets and electric cars. Experiments showed our pomegranate-inspired anode operates at 97 percent capacity even after 1,000 cycles of charging and discharging, which puts it well within the desired range for commercial operation."-,Yi Cui, Professor, Stanford University

It might be some time before this method becomes viable for commercial use. If that does happen, we will see amazingly long battery life on smartphones, as much as ten times the length that we are seeing today.

source: Stanford via Gizmodo

26 Comments
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posted on 17 Feb 2014, 20:06 1

1. Jarahawk (Posts: 43; Member since: 04 Dec 2011)


Just think what this will mean for electric cars like Tesla.

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 21:03 2

6. grahaman27 (Posts: 349; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


I dont want an electrical power stations inside my house with CRAZY amp output (currently 80 amps). it takes 9.5 hours to fully charge the 85kwh batteries in teslas... so to match that same time to charge, then the amps would scale at the same rate that the batteries would.

so, 2x the battery capacity, 500-600mi ranges would mean 160 amps in your garage.

for reference, .01 amps to your heart can kill you.outlets only support up to 15 amps btw.

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 00:44 10

11. Jarahawk (Posts: 43; Member since: 04 Dec 2011)


Understood. YOU don't want an electric outlet at your home... Yet, riding in an automobile containing gasoline which is flammable and combustible causes you no concern at all?

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 08:04

21. tuminatr (Posts: 693; Member since: 23 Feb 2009)


Gas in liquid form is not very flammable, it needs to be vaporized then its extremely combustible. That’s one of the reasons cars have fuel injectors and or carburetors

posted on 19 Feb 2014, 14:40

25. PaulNotFromSweden (Posts: 52; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


That is not true at all. Liquid gasoline is highly flammable. You may be thinking of diesel, which will not ignite if you toss a match into a bucket of it. The purpose for the injectors is to vaporize the fuel to get a more thorough and even burn.

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 02:47 1

14. Scott93274 (Posts: 1353; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


The high end Tesla model has a range of 285 miles per charge... The thought that using silicon could store 10 times more power.... meaning 2,850 mile range if they kept the battery the same size... lol, it's a nice thought. I could drive from the border of Mexico to Canada and back without stoping to refuel/charge.... Yeah, that's a very nice thought.

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 07:57

20. tuminatr (Posts: 693; Member since: 23 Feb 2009)


and its $100,000, I realise it gives a idea of what the future holds but right now its out of reach for most people. Dont get too cought up in one technology maybe another propultion technology for cars will come along and best the hybrid or electric tech thats out there today.

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 13:53

24. Scott93274 (Posts: 1353; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


Well, anything's better than fossil fuel to run cars. The Tesla currently costs $70,000 to $100,000 before government subsidies, and I've been following Elon Musk online (Reading interviews), I even got to see him give a speech first hand. He wants to lower the cost of his cars to the $30,000 range which I think is the sweet spot. But I must agree with you, if something better AND more affordable comes along, I'll be super excited.

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 20:18 17

2. apple4never (Posts: 974; Member since: 08 May 2013)


and here i came thinking i can rub a pomegranate on my phone to make the battery last longer -_-

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 20:52 2

4. nothingmuch (Posts: 183; Member since: 03 May 2013)


Better than urine

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 20:20

3. uchihakurtz (Posts: 276; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


Check out Amprius battery tech:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_KVsPmsogc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 20:54 1

5. grahaman27 (Posts: 349; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


eh.... I am of the opinion that we just need to make our phones more efficient, rather than cram bigger batteries in them.

and there has been big improvements on battery life in the past couple years. partly due to bigger batteries, but also more efficient hardware. once we hit 16nm FinFet processors paired with maxwell GPU (licensed by nvidia), along with RAM, radio, and screen improvements, we will have super efficient phones that will last for a couple days easy.

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 21:06 1

7. cse.vicky (Posts: 107; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)


I agree. Iphone is a pretty good example :)

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 21:11 1

8. grahaman27 (Posts: 349; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


it is, but not when considering talk time. here is a good comparison chart that relates:

http://goo.gl/xzwlSv

(lower is better, its essentially showing the milliamps required per hour)

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 01:56

13. Tomfromsouth (Posts: 55; Member since: 02 Apr 2012)


Eh...or rather just make batteries more efficient. I think it's pretty obvious that batter technology is lagging behind the rest of the software.

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 06:56

19. dexter_jdr (Posts: 1162; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


why not both?

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 10:50

23. Taters (Posts: 3598; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Not at all. To many people eliminating true multitasking, freedom, widgets, using a 640p screen, 1gb of ram, clock cycles as low as 1.2ghz is NOT even close to being an option just so you can put a 1450 mah battery in your phone.

I rather jack all that up and just put a bigger battery......

Apple gets way too much credit for obvious things like this.....

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 21:18

9. corporateJP (Posts: 1837; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)


Atomic Pom!

I'll have a Rip-It to that!

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 21:40

10. remtothemax (Posts: 239; Member since: 02 May 2012)


you know, things like this are exciting and then really depressing when you realize they are five or ten years out
someone should do a retrospective looking back at articles from tech websites talking about high resolution screens or quad core processors and how they are five or ten years out
except we have them now
i feel like this would make life more satisfying feeling, to actually more easily appreciate what we already have rather than perpetually waiting for the next big thing, because even if you are staunchly in one of the os camps (or brand camps in the case of android) as soon as your tribe's phone comes out, there is always something we are perpetually waiting for sucking all the amazing seemingness out of the amazing devices we use everyday.

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 01:41

12. pureviewuser (Posts: 214; Member since: 11 Nov 2012)


Well it could be rubbed somewhere else and cure impotence!!!Lol!!!

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 02:59 2

15. shahrooz (Posts: 209; Member since: 17 Sep 2013)


Title is missleading, it should say longer battery life span not longer battery life. I mean it implies longer battery life.

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 03:19

16. XaErO (Posts: 182; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)


This is great news !!

But I'm reading these type of news on battery for last 3-4 years now .. and I don't see anything materialized for consumer market ..

We all really need a good innovation on Smartphone/Tablet batteries ..

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 05:25

18. Ishmeet (Posts: 111; Member since: 16 Sep 2013)


The batteries that last an year long last use a sulphur isotope, which is radioactive in nature.
while it's radioactive strength is neglegible, the radiations from the battery, due to the gradually deterioriating sulphur, can cause unknown consequenses.
Also, when overheated to high temperatures, the battery can explode violently and spread the radiations in the enviroment.
The reason this project wasn't released commercially.

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 04:23 1

17. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 794; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)


Anyone got the wrong idea when you read the title?

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 09:46

22. Deadeye37 (Posts: 83; Member since: 25 Jan 2011)


Here's my question: is this article saying that these batteries would use silicon instead of lithium ion? If so, that would be a HUGE improvement since silicon is an abundant mineral whereas lithium is much more rare and is starting to become very valuable.

posted on 27 Feb 2014, 14:09

26. pureviewuser (Posts: 214; Member since: 11 Nov 2012)


Or for two push Charlie's !!!!!

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