The battery of the future will be water-based


It only takes a few exploding phones to realize that we live in a compromise – lithium-ion batteries, the most used kind of battery today, are both potentially dangerous and not nearly long-lasting enough. While there are numerous projects currently underway hoping to solve these problems, none of them are close to becoming reality, due to the long and expensive reality of scientific research.

Even with that in mind, however, the latest development in battery technology is still rather exciting – researchers from Harvard have prototyped a battery that is both non-toxic and longer-lasting than any lithium-ion solution available right now. The so-called "flow battery" is based on organic molecules in a neutral pH water solution, and is expected to last more than 10 years, which is a vast improvement over current battery tech.

This isn't the first flow battery to be developed, but rather it fixes many of past designs' problems, such as excessive capacity degradation with usage. The researchers achieved that by modifying the structures of the molecules used in the electrolyte solutions, and making them water soluble. As a result, the batteries become non-corrosive and cheaper to produce, making them an ideal candidate for industrial uses, such as storing wind and solar energy.

While this prototype aims to be a solution to the lithium-ion battery problem on a larger scale, it's still indicative of what's to come in the near future. Consumer devices nowadays require more power than ever, and development on that front is sure to come eventually, so here's hoping we're seeing the last wave of phone batteries lasting just a couple of years.

source: Harvard via Engadget

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5 Comments

1. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

...and it will be 3x the cost of a lithium battery despite of its abundancy coz profits.

2. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

as if they'll ever make it to consumer level product :-/

3. Podrick

Posts: 1285; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

Prepare to never hear about this tech again.

4. Tabby_Tiger

Posts: 305; Member since: Jan 23, 2017

Life span of 10+ years, non-toxic and non-corrosive and won't explode? This will be great to store excess solar energy for those with solar panel on their roofs as well as for safer phone batteries.

5. surethom

Posts: 1691; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

The Battery of the Future WILL not arrive until at least 2025, non of the 200 that have been reported on over the last 10 years have every got out of the lab.

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