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Battery design breakthrough could make electric cars safer, cheaper and more environmentally sustainable

A breakthrough in battery design has opened up the possibility of developing zinc-ion rather than lithium-ion the battery for use in everything from smartphones to electric cars, making them safer, cheaper and more environmentally sustainable.

Researchers from China’s Tianjin University have discovered a way to improve the performance and cost of aqueous zinc ion batteries, which until now have been susceptible to rapid performance degradation.

The high efficiency and reusability of lithium-ion batteries mean that they are the standard power source for most rechargeable electronic devices, but the issues of cost, safety and Sustainability has led scientists to seek breakthroughs with alternative materials.

Disposable batteries commonly found in less power consuming electronics such as TV remotes and children’s toys are made of zinc, offering solid performance but poor recharging due to eating electrode wear.

Tianjin University researchers, led by Quan-Hong Yang, realized that they could use a new type of electrolyte made of hydrated zinc salts, in which a small amount of water could resolve the Technical problems are often related to zinc-ion water batteries. .

Batteries exhibit excellent performance over a temperature range of -30C to 40C, making them suitable for most everyday electronics, while being more cost-competitive than their lithium-ion counterparts. .

They also have the benefit of being non-flammable, as they do not use the same flammable and toxic organic electrolytes as Li-ion batteries.

The safety hazards associated with these materials have led to fires involving electric cars and smartphones.

There have been numerous reports of smartphone fires involving batteries, either due to failure or faulty charging, in recent years, while vehicles previously made by Tesla and other manufacturers have catch fire if their battery is damaged by accident.

A Tesla car caught fire after an accident in the US in 2018

(AP)

“There is still much to be discovered,” the researchers note, “but our findings open the way for low-cost and non-combustible organic electrolytes for practical Zn batteries with high durability.” sustainability is enhanced.”

Florencio Santos from the Université Politécnica de Cartagena in Spain, who was not involved in the study, said the work “solves some of the important problems of zinc batteries by using a cheap and eco-friendly electrolyte.” school”.

He added that further enhancing battery performance will make it possible “to manufacture and deploy affordable and reliable batteries to support the transition to a sustainable future”.

The new design has been presented in the scientific journal Sustainability on Thursday.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/battery-zinc-ion-lithium-electric-cars-b1968490.html Battery design breakthrough could make electric cars safer, cheaper and more environmentally sustainable

JOE HERNANDEZ

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