Ultrafast Aluminum Battery Offers Safe Alternative to Conventional Batteries
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Stanford University scientists have invented the first high-performance aluminum battery that"s fast-charging, long-lasting and inexpensive. Researchers say the new technology offers a safe alternative to many commercial batteries in wide use today.
Aluminum has long been an attractive material for batteries, mainly because of its low cost, low flammability and high-charge storage capacity. For decades, researchers have tried unsuccessfully to develop a commercially viable aluminum-ion battery. A key challenge has been finding materials capable of producing sufficient voltage after repeated cycles of charging and discharging.
Durability is another important factor. Aluminum batteries developed at other laboratories usually died after just 100 charge-discharge cycles. But the Stanford battery was able to withstand more than 7,500 cycles without any loss of capacity. "This was the first time an ultra-fast aluminum-ion battery was constructed with stability over thousands of cycles, and the new battery won"t catch fire, even if you drill through it."
Another feature of the aluminum battery is flexibility. You can bend it and fold it, so it has the potential for use in flexible electronic devices. Aluminum is also a cheaper metal than lithium."