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Stanford develops a safer, cheaper aluminum-ion battery that recharges in one minute

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Stanford develops a safer, cheaper aluminum-ion battery that recharges in one minute
Imagine being able to fully recharge your phone's battery in just one minute. Stanford University researchers have been working on such a invention. Not only does this "high-performance" aluminum battery recharge faster, it also lasts longer and is less expensive. Sounds like a perfect battery for all smartphone users. And unlike lithium-ion batteries, which have been known to explode under certain circumstances, Stanford's battery will not start a fire even if you drill a hole through the center of it.

Stanford University Professor Hongjie Dai has been working on the aluminum-ion battery along with some of his colleagues. The battery is made up of two electrodes. One is a positively charged cathode while the other is a negatively charged anode made of aluminum. This cell combines an aluminum anode and graphite cathode, along with an ionic liquid electrolyte, inside a flexible polymer-coated pouch. 

Testing has found that the aluminum-ion cells can handle 7500 recharge cycles without losing any power capacity. That is a huge improvement over the 100 life cycles that aluminum batteries had in previous tests. Lithium-ion batteries typically last for 1000 recharge cycles. And being able to fully recharge the battery in one minute could really help power users get extended usage out of their mobile devices.

The aluminum batteries can bend and fold which will make it easier to design flexible phones. And since aluminum is cheaper than lithium, these batteries are less expensive. The only short coming is that right now they cannot match lithium batteries in terms of voltage. But Dai says that by improving the cathode material, voltage should increase.

"Our battery produces about half the voltage of a typical lithium battery. But improving the cathode material could eventually increase the voltage and energy density. Otherwise, our battery has everything else you'd dream that a battery should have: inexpensive electrodes, good safety, high-speed charging, flexibility and long cycle life. I see this as a new battery in its early days. It's quite exciting."-Hongjie Dai, Professor, Stanford University

It might be some time before these batteries are commercialized, but it sure gives smartphone users something to look forward to.



source: Stanford via PCWorld

24 Comments
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posted on 06 Apr 2015, 21:18 26

1. almostdone (Posts: 231; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)


Over the last decade I've heard a lot about new battery technologies but none has really materialised to the masses. I hope this tech does become phone batteries soon and not just another news article we hear now then nothing...

posted on 06 Apr 2015, 21:22 2

2. UglyFrank (Posts: 1544; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


Exactly, I wish we would see an actual release for some new battery tech.

posted on 06 Apr 2015, 21:46 2

4. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3699; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


I was literally just about to post a very similar comment. +1

posted on 06 Apr 2015, 22:22

10. KENTOZ (Posts: 86; Member since: 03 Apr 2015)


Me too

posted on 06 Apr 2015, 21:49 1

5. bendgate (unregistered)


Agreed. Heard about dozens of new battery techs but literally none of them truly came to the market.

posted on 06 Apr 2015, 21:51

6. Scott93274 (Posts: 3686; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


You beat me to it, I've been waiting to hear more on this silicon or graphite breakthroughs in battery technology, but after the first article, you never hear anything else on the matter.

The next big leap for smartphones will be with the battery. I still have the Moto X 2013 and it's still plenty fast for what I use it for, believe it or not, 720p still provides the user with a clear image, and that's the bottom of the barrel for smartphones these days. Cameras on some phones can use improvement, but the margin from the current quality to what is expected from the market is much smaller than that of what people want from batteries...

posted on 06 Apr 2015, 22:06 3

8. Micah007 (Posts: 254; Member since: 09 Oct 2014)


That's probably because all of the inventors of these new battery innovations get assassinated right after an article hits the web. Carriers wouldn't like it if phones stared lasting longer, and people bought new phones on a less frequent basis.

posted on 06 Apr 2015, 22:52 3

13. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3597; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


I posted this below, but it applies here as well.

If anyone is going to try and eliminate this technology, it'd be people with a stake in Li-ion batteries. They have a lock on the industry currently that could dry up overnight if this or any of the other promising battery techs made it to market.

posted on 06 Apr 2015, 23:55 1

14. Micah007 (Posts: 254; Member since: 09 Oct 2014)


This is true. I wonder if we'll ever see these advancements make it to mainstream....

posted on 07 Apr 2015, 00:28

15. engineer-1701d (Posts: 3208; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


This story was from last year why don't they just use a capacitor with a bleed resistor on it with the correct output wh

posted on 07 Apr 2015, 10:46

21. arch_angel (Posts: 1651; Member since: 20 Feb 2015)


agreed i want something new in the next 2 years.

posted on 07 Apr 2015, 15:15

23. ILikeBubbles (Posts: 525; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


#oilcompanybuyout

posted on 06 Apr 2015, 21:43 1

3. drunkenjay (Posts: 856; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)


maybe samsung will create new battery tech since they said they are confident with battery tech.

posted on 06 Apr 2015, 21:58 10

7. DirtyDan23 (Posts: 279; Member since: 12 Aug 2014)


New battery tech?! Can't wait to never hear about it again.

posted on 06 Apr 2015, 22:06

9. mrej201 (Posts: 225; Member since: 04 Feb 2015)


cell phone company dont want they want you to keep buying new device

posted on 06 Apr 2015, 22:43 1

11. Scott93274 (Posts: 3686; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


But an improved battery shouldn't deter people from buying a new phone if something else enticing comes to the market.

posted on 06 Apr 2015, 22:51

12. VZWuser76 (Posts: 3597; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


If anyone is going to try and eliminate this technology, it'd be people with a stake in Li-ion batteries. They have a lock on the industry currently that could dry up overnight if this or any of the other promising battery techs made it to market.

posted on 07 Apr 2015, 02:51 1

18. Craig2015 (Posts: 2; Member since: 07 Apr 2015)


Phone companies sell phones at a loss to get airtime customers, so they would actually benefit from a cheap battery.

As for the claim that the li-ion industry will 'kill' competing tech, lithium has been dogged by cost, safety and useful life issues, none of which are going away anytime soon. Smart manufacturers never put all their eggs in one basket -- when a *serious* contender to Li-ion emerges, they will embrace it and produce it themselves. Licenses are cheaper than labs full of R&D types who always say they are just another million dollars or so from the big breakthrough.

posted on 07 Apr 2015, 01:19 1

16. mgkrebs (Posts: 1; Member since: 07 Apr 2015)


"It might be some time before these batteries are commercialized." That is code for: A long as there is more and easier money to be made by sucking at the government teet than there is to be made from comercialization, this product will not be coming to market.

Lockheed made a very similar comment about its fusion discovery.

posted on 07 Apr 2015, 02:42

17. Craig2015 (Posts: 2; Member since: 07 Apr 2015)


WOW, This is the battery the entire universe has been waiting for! It's flexible, it's cheap, it won't explode in your hand! Paragraphs of hype later: (Oh, there is one small catch -- it produces half the voltage devices need, but we're working on it!)

Call back when you're ready to go to market.

posted on 07 Apr 2015, 03:38

19. TheGunnyPT (Posts: 252; Member since: 12 Feb 2015)


And with a small "pill charger" you can charge it in up in one minute... Now with this I understand the "non removable batteries".

But right now as it is in the Industry, I don't understand.

When i had my Galaxy S4 around 17:00 I opened my phone and used my secondary battery.

It fixed my charging issues especially on the days which I'm on the move.

posted on 07 Apr 2015, 07:59

20. drazwy (Posts: 190; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)


yay wow. big deal. So have 100 other people/companies. None have come out there. So vaporware.

posted on 07 Apr 2015, 12:04

22. aReefer (Posts: 31; Member since: 21 Mar 2015)


Israeli company StoreDot has had a battery that charges in one minute for some time, and is allegedly in negotiations with several large handset makers to optimize and commercialize the tech within the year.

Theirs is apparently based on organic compounds derived from medical cancer research.

I don't think that it bends though.

Either way, plenty of interesting battery advances appear to be just over the horizon, which is good news for all.

posted on 07 Apr 2015, 16:57

24. PaulNotFromSweden (Posts: 55; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


Very well done, Professor Dai.

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