Researchers create 30% longer lasting batteries
Lithium ion batteries could last up to a third longer soon, as a major battery manufacturer licenses a new technology from the Argonne National Laboratory.
Researchers at the laboratory claim to have created cells that have a longer working life, are safer and can store 30% more power than existing models, and have now sold a licence to the technology to Toda Kogyo.
The Japanese company has the capability to manufacture 30 million laptop batteries per year, so the technology could emerge commercially very soon.
“If you think about it in terms of a field that grows 8 to 9% per year, you just saved yourself three years. You may have leapfrogged the competition. I’m sure that anybody who makes cell phone and laptop batteries would be very happy to have that kind of an edge,” said Yet-Ming Chiang, a professor of materials science and engineering at MIT, speaking to Technology Review.
The batteries are safer than traditional lithium ion cells, claim the researchers, as the cobalt oxide electrodes have been replaced with manganese oxide parts.
In rare cases, cobalt oxide cells can overheat and cause the cells to combust, which is not possible with the new design.
Last month it was announced that a fire in an LG Chem factory in South Korea would cause shortages of laptop batteries, raising the price of notebooks for some months.
“We are aggressively working within the battery cell industry to secure additional supply of battery cells,” said Mike Hockey, HP spokesperson, after the incident.