Sand in batteries? Scientists may have found a way to triple battery life on smartphones and tablets

Sand in batteries? Scientists may have found a way to triple battery life on smartphones and tablets
Scientists at the University of California and the Bourns College of Engineering may have just found a way to triple battery life for electronics, including smartphones and tablets.

Published in the Nature Scientific Report journal, the team's findings may be the starting point towards significant increases in batteries' efficiency. Apparently, the team is using sand, yes -- sand -- instead of the typical graphite for the anode, and graduate student Zachary Favors is credited with coming up with the idea after realizing how much quartz there is in the sand at the beach. 

After obtaining sand that is rich enough in quartz, Favors milled it to the nanometer scale and purified it. After adding a few other inexpensive ingredients, like ground salt and magnesium, the mix was heated to arrive at pure silicon. That same silicon also proved to be very porous which, reportedly, is the key to improved performance of batteries consisting the element. In any case, a threefold increase in energy density is reported to have resulted from this new process when compared with standard, graphite anode-based batteries. Best of all, this new solution would be far cheaper to produce, not to mention it would be non-toxic and environmentally-friendly. Hold your thumbs!

source: UCR Today via Pocket-lint

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56 Comments

1. zuckerboy

Posts: 898; Member since: Dec 22, 2011

3 days of usage : good very good

12. buccob

Posts: 2956; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Hopefully but knowing Manufacturers they will instead make phones 3x thinner.... and 1/3 of its battery lasting potential... Until they truly understand that battery is #1 concern

16. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

You can only get a thin as the screen and headphones jack will allow. I believe the latest iPod nano has reached that limit.

23. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

not if you have a mag adapter.... at that point it is as thin as a magnet can be.

25. icyrock1

Posts: 307; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

Introducing: headphone jack 2.0. Now 5x smaller!

40. Tuxedo

Posts: 356; Member since: Mar 19, 2013

The next move is probably to ditch the 3.5mm jack a go exclusively for audio over Bluetooth. Now with low pwr BT, it might actually be feasible.

48. pavsidhu

Posts: 214; Member since: May 20, 2014

Audio will not go only over bluetooth solely any time soon, we're too reliant on the audiojack.

30. Vexify

Posts: 570; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

Battery is not my concern. I am not glued to it. Im not anti social when my friend are around me. I dont use all day. My iPhone 5s and Nexus both last a good eight-nine hours.

35. Penny

Posts: 1844; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Actually, the real concern is product roadmap. Why release something in one day that you can gradually release over 5 years and make a lot more money? Don't make a 200% improvement now, just make a 100% improvement for the first generation, and then a 50% improvement for the second generation. More sales and revenue, yay! Plus we have our innovation for the next few years!

17. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

6-7 for me with my GS5 :D

18. zuckerboy

Posts: 898; Member since: Dec 22, 2011

6-7 days ? if so its mean u never turn on the device

22. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Ultra Power Saving Mode. Google it.

24. icyrock1

Posts: 307; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

What's the point of having a smartphone at that point if you're going to disable all of the things that make it a smartphone? Might has well just get a flip phone, it'll last you months on a single charge.

37. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

You can still use the internet, make phone calls and send text messages - which is what most people use their phones for. With that being said, your comment is now invalid.

38. zuckerboy

Posts: 898; Member since: Dec 22, 2011

y u get s5 for just internet call and text ? I remember my s2 holds 2 and half days but I was just checking the time, important thing is normal battery life not that weird saving modes all phones has 1 or 1 and half days of battery life so 3 days of intense usage is very satisfying for me ( and I know everything about s5 dont need to google it )

44. gutuebogdan

Posts: 29; Member since: Oct 16, 2013

2 and a half days galaxy s2? Only if you forgot to unplug it... mine won't last for 12 hours on a charge (this with minimum to medium use)

46. zuckerboy

Posts: 898; Member since: Dec 22, 2011

but I didnt use phone, just wake up the device for check the time thats all .

54. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

If you knew everything about the S5, you would know how long the battery lasts. And I call complete BS on two and a half days on a charge. Complete bs - especially with the old TW and running data in the background. Your comments noe have little to no meaning and aren't credible. Go outside UPSM, you can still use apps heavily and get over at least six hours of on screen time with heavy use.

43. icyrock1

Posts: 307; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

"You can still use the internet, make phone calls and send text messages - which is what most people use their phones for. With that being said, your comment is now invalid." Nope.jpghttp://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/infographic-2013-mobile-growth-statistics/

51. Furbal unregistered

Yeah, i'd keep mine in UPSM most of the time if it had the camera enabled. Text/Web/Camera are what I use most :(

55. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Point proven icyrock1. Point proven.

27. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

If I barely check my Z2 during the day, it only uses 20% for 24 hrs of usage. so that's 5 days more or less.

29. needa

Posts: 205; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

there is an opo (oneplus) right now coming up on three days, was 64 hours a couple of hours ago. with 3h 14m screen time. 13% left. with gnow turned on and the new always on ok google thing. but the guy is pretty much airplane mode when sleeping. still pretty impressive.

45. jgalvez21

Posts: 21; Member since: May 29, 2014

the z2 have battery of a note 3. though...and way smaller screen

32. CellularNinja

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 27, 2011

I'd probably still only get one day of usage out of it. It would just give me an excuse to use my battery that much more liberally. :)

58. Ashoaib

Posts: 3271; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

why not try mixing little black paper and red chilli to give little extra boost? :p

2. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

think about how this will affect cars as well, we can finally have an electric car with good range

7. KillgoreTroutTime

Posts: 433; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

That is a bit of a leap. This new tech may have an advantage in one area but huge trade offs in others. You can't just read an article like this and think this will change everything. Would this be useful if the batteries degraded 10 times faster than current ones? or 100 times faster? Or they charged much slower? There are many potential issues that weren't brought up at all in the article.

31. TBomb

Posts: 1276; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

Understandable points to make, but don't rule it out yet. just as you can't leap to conclusions that it can be perfect for cars, you can make that leap in the opposite direction. Let's wait for more testing and research with these sand batteries before anyone shuts down any ideas

34. TBomb

Posts: 1276; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

cant*

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