/

New aluminium battery ‘safer than conventional batteries’

Stanford University scientists have invented the first high-performance aluminum battery that’s fast-charging, long-lasting and inexpensive. They say it is a safer alternative to many commercial batteries in use today.

“We have developed a rechargeable aluminum battery that may replace existing storage devices, such as alkaline batteries, which are bad for the environment, and lithium-ion batteries, which occasionally burst into flames,” said Hongjie Dai, a professor of chemistry at Stanford.

“Our new battery won’t catch fire, even if you drill through it.”

Dai and his colleagues describe their novel aluminum-ion battery in “An ultrafast rechargeable aluminum-ion battery” in the journal Nature.

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.

Bill Condie

Bill Condie

Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.

Read science facts, not fiction...

There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.