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 is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
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