Battery: A team of scientists at Cornell University, in the United States, built a battery that reaches 10,000 cycles of charge and discharge without suffering losses in performance and capacity. This is a great advance, after all, batteries usually have a useful life of up to 1,000 cycles – the minimum quality practiced by brands recognized in the market.
The battery developed by researcher Jingxu Zheng and his colleagues was built on the basis of aluminum and zinc. In comparison to the lithium-ion models, which currently dominate the market, this choice of material has numerous benefits.
Advantages of aluminum battery
Certainly, the greatest advantage of the battery developed by scientists is its useful life, which is noticeably longer than that of the models available on the market. Because it is light and trivalent, the model can also store more energy. Another important factor is the reduced production cost, provided by the high availability of aluminum in the earth’s crust.
In addition to being more efficient and cheaper, it is safer and more environmentally friendly, a feature that has been increasingly demanded not only by environmental protection agencies, but also by users.
How was it developed?
The use of aluminum in the manufacture of batteries, however, presents challenges. This material has some resistance to integration with the electrodes, since it reacts chemically with the fiberglass separator that physically divides the positive and negative poles. In short, this causes the battery to short-circuit and become unusable.
The solution found by the team was to design a substrate of interwoven carbon fibers that form an even stronger chemical bond with aluminum. Thus, when the battery is charged, this material is deposited in the three-dimensional carbon structure by means of stronger covalent bonds, with a sharing of electron pairs between the aluminum atoms and the carbon atoms. According to the researchers, this technique allows a control with greater precision.