Print 36 comment(s) - last by bobsmith1492.. on Oct 31 at 3:36 PM

Fluoride battery has potential to hold ten times more energy than lithium battery

Few things hold as much potential to change a wide variety of devices for the better than the battery. Batteries with higher power capacity will allow for gadgets like notebooks and smartphones to operate longer away from an outlet. Higher power densities will allow a longer driving range for electric cars as well.
Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have made a battery breakthrough that promises to increase energy capacity significantly.
The researchers developed a new concept for rechargeable battery that needs no lithium and can hold many times more energy inside than existing batteries. The new battery concept uses fluoride and is based on a fluoride shuttle that transfers anions between electrodes. Since the battery doesn't need lithium, they are also safer.
The concept was presented in the Journal of Materials Chemistry by Dr. Maximilian Fichtner and Dr. Munnangi Anji Reddy.
The new concept can be used in batteries in two ways. They metal fluorides can be applied as a conversion material in a lithium-ion battery and can be used to create batteries needing no lithium at all. The lithium-free batteries can store more energy at a lower weight using a fluoride containing electrolyte. In that form of battery the fluoride anion takes over charge transfer from the lithium cation.
Dr. Fichtner said, "As several electrons per metal atom can be transferred, this concept allows to reach extraordinarily high energy densities – up to ten times as high as those of conventional lithium-ion batteries."
The researchers are tweaking the design right now to work on further development and architecture. The goal is to improve the initial capacity and cyclic stability of the fluoride-ion battery. 

Source: KTI

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By Bizarro on 10/24/2011 3:17:32 PM , Rating: 3
Now, let's subsidize the crap out of this thing. Since the Govt. wants to hand subsidies out like candy, these guys should get one. Batteries are practically the equivalent of HDDs, advancement wise. They need a new killer-app to set things on fire. If we want a smart phone that can spend more than one day away from the charger, this is necessary. PS -- I want this very much! If we want a car that can drive with zero emissions, haul a family, the dog, and camping gear, this is necessary.

RE: Wonderful
By gamerk2 on 10/24/2011 3:28:13 PM , Rating: 2
Thats what univerities are for.

Really: Universities are government sponsored R&D labs. If they [or the researchers there] bothered to patent anything, between them and DARPA, there wouldn't be any product left to sell.

RE: Wonderful
By JediJeb on 10/24/2011 6:10:18 PM , Rating: 2
Many things discovered in University labs are patented, often before the research papers are published. I definitely know of a company that I have worked with that was spun off from a major University just to hold patent rights on some of the research.

RE: Wonderful
By Samus on 10/25/2011 4:00:31 AM , Rating: 1
Seriously, Steve Jobs took most of his initial ideas from academia. If university r&d patented everything, there wouldn't be Apple Computer ;)

RE: Wonderful
By vol7ron on 10/24/2011 3:49:46 PM , Rating: 3
Just because batteries can make phones last longer from the wall, doesn't mean they will.

More than likely, they'll just give a more beefed-up, power-consuming chipset. They'll be able to add GPUs/CPUs that require even more power, better GPS/Radio antennae that are more accurate, stronger WiFi antennae, and more RAM/HD space. At least, until they hit the heat restriction wall, or space constrictions,... and then they'll leave the rest for recharge life cycle.

RE: Wonderful
By Solandri on 10/24/2011 4:44:27 PM , Rating: 3
If the latest Kal-El CPU is an indication, they're finally starting to do it right. Kal-El is marketed as a quad core, but it actually has 5 cores. The fifth core is a low power/low power consumption core which is used when the phone/tablet is doing anything not needing the power of the four regular cores.

So the phone uses the regular quad cores when you do anything CPU intensive, but uses the low power consumption of the 5th core when the phone is idle or doing simple stuff.

RE: Wonderful
By McDragon on 10/24/2011 4:49:39 PM , Rating: 2
Are you quite sure your government would subsidize a German university..?

RE: Wonderful
By FITCamaro on 10/24/2011 5:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
Look at where some of the "stimulus" went to answer that question. Billions went to companies outside the US.

RE: Wonderful
By Samus on 10/25/2011 4:03:28 AM , Rating: 2
In case you just woke up from a 65 year coma, World War 2 is over; Germany has been a peace-keeping nation since. I don't see why investing in R&D should have a geographical or political stipulation attached to it.

RE: Wonderful
By topkill on 10/31/2011 12:36:45 PM , Rating: 2

Why would US taxpayers subsidize R&D in a foreign country where they will take out patents and build companies there to come back and take more American jobs?

Why would ANY country subsidize that? Hey, it's just the way the world is setup. If there were no country boundaries then it wouldn't matter, but you're talking about transferring wealth from one country to another on the taxpayer's backs!!!

Life doesn't fit cute little "let's all play nice together" scenarios.

RE: Wonderful
By michael67 on 10/25/2011 4:15:29 AM , Rating: 3
My uncle works as prof. at the TU Delft (TU Technical University), (aerospace department) and they get funding from all over the world, also he has 17 patents on his name, (owned by the university), and I believe they, if i remember correctly, the TU owns about 2000 patents in total, and they make up for 55% of there funding.

Its a little bit older then MIT, and 1.5x bigger, but it has basically the same function.

We have 3 TU's working closely together, and totaling about 2.5 times the size of MIT, and they have a together a legal/financial department that has 2 goals, patent the developments by the TU's and get the most out of them (and doing this now for all research of all the university's country), and find funding for research, from ware ever they can find it.

Now a days university's do most of the fundamental research, like in this example, and next to government funding battery making companies donate money for projects like this, its a win win win for all!
1. the University get money to buy equipment so it can teach cutting edge tech.
2. companies get license that tech and cheep researchers. (profs don't make that mouths, and students are basically free)
3. Students get to learn the the latest tech.

Next to that lots of tech university's work together with other university's, so government funding from a co-funded research project can have money flowing in a foreign university, and knowledge flowing back.

As some university's are ahead of other but then can lack the funding to further there research, and they then take the money ware they can get it.

flouride supply
By SlickRoenick on 10/24/2011 3:19:07 PM , Rating: 1
With a "cartel" in China that plans to limit the supply of rare earth metals putting a pinch on current lithium battery supplies, what sort of fluoride suppliers are out there?

RE: flouride supply
By bobsmith1492 on 10/24/2011 3:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
Fluoride is a common mineral that is found in and put in water.

RE: flouride supply
By TheDoc9 on 10/25/2011 1:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, most fluoride in toothpaste and water is supplied by Alcoa, it's a by product of producing aluminum. It's super toxic and if there's another way of getting rid of it by making batteries, they'll be all over it.

RE: flouride supply
By JW.C on 10/26/2011 7:34:50 PM , Rating: 2
You got that right! They will probably help fund the research to perfect the tech just so that their costs for floride disposal go down, which makes them more money in the long run

RE: flouride supply
By GoodBytes on 10/24/2011 3:35:46 PM , Rating: 3
It's in your toothpaste.

RE: flouride supply
By Etsp on 10/24/2011 4:58:42 PM , Rating: 2
China has very little to do with global lithium supplies.

Lithium is an alkali metal, not a rare earth mineral. The main producers of Lithium are Chile and Argentina. One of the largest reserves of Lithium is in Bolivia, and there are a number of other countries that have access to this resource.

RE: flouride supply
By JediJeb on 10/24/2011 6:24:39 PM , Rating: 2
Wasn't there a story recently about the Chinese buying up the Lithium mines in South America? If that is true they would control a large portion of that market as well as the Rare Earth metals market.

RE: flouride supply
By michael67 on 10/25/2011 4:22:21 AM , Rating: 2
Every one is buying interest in Lithium mines all over the world, Afghanistan has rumored of example 30% of all known Lithium deposed in the world.

RE: flouride supply
By Zoomer on 10/25/2011 3:26:45 PM , Rating: 2
It's ok, let them buy it all at super high prices, then unveil floride batteries tomorrow.

RE: flouride supply
By kleinma on 10/24/2011 5:25:02 PM , Rating: 1
That whole thing in China could backfire anyway. They are hoping to artifically inflate the prices of those metals based on limiting supply. However if prices go up and are passed to already broke consumers, they may actually just decide to hold off on that next electronics purchase, resulting in less purchasing of the metals at all from China, and more lost revenue than if the prices never changed. Just remember, we are part of the problem, even me, as I type this message. Although I probably would buy electronics that are made in America at a higher price if any actually existed... I do buy US made tools, versus the cheap chinese crap that sells for a few bucks less.

Yet another -
By Dr of crap on 10/24/2011 3:34:36 PM , Rating: 2
story about what MIGHT be the next big thing.
We've read on average at least one a week and it's gone on for a number of years. Yet I have yet to see one of these "prediction / big fixes" come out into the masses and do what it was suspose to!

I stopped reading after it said this MIGHT.....blah, blah, blah!

RE: Yet another -
By Etsp on 10/24/2011 5:06:56 PM , Rating: 3
You may just need to have a bit more patience...

Article from 2008, what "MIGHT be next big thing" was Memristors:
Article from 2011, a release timeline of SRAM, DRAM, and Flash replacements using Memristor technology:

In a year in a half, I'll be able to link you reviews of their new SSD's using the technology, that should be orders of magnitude faster than NAND based SSD's of the time.

RE: Yet another -
By theslug on 10/24/2011 5:15:15 PM , Rating: 3
The word might isn't anywhere in the article.

RE: Yet another -
By kleinma on 10/24/2011 5:26:10 PM , Rating: 3
it might be in your comment though..

By bobsmith1492 on 10/24/2011 3:23:10 PM , Rating: 5
Looks like a very early proof-of-concept. So far it only works at "elevated temperatures" (how high, 500F??) and has "initial capacity" and "cyclic stability" problems. I.E. it only charges a few times.

Commercialization takes a long time. That's when the snags and negatives are found.

For instance, if this fails, will it outgas fluorine? That's potentially worse than a fire in a lithium battery.

RE: early
By Solice55 on 10/28/2011 9:32:35 PM , Rating: 2
For instance, if this fails, will it outgas fluorine? That's potentially worse than a fire in a lithium battery.

Good point, but the article references fluoride, which is stable. I would be concerned if it was just fluorine gas.

RE: early
By bobsmith1492 on 10/31/2011 3:36:54 PM , Rating: 2
True, but in a failure the battery may heat up and perform different reactions. Since fluorine gas is so reactive I suppose it would be hard to create it from the fluoride in a failed-battery scenario.

Fluoride Battery
By suzuki2 on 10/24/2011 3:15:39 PM , Rating: 2
Can you brush your teeth with it?

RE: Fluoride Battery
By Omega215D on 10/24/2011 3:34:51 PM , Rating: 5
I like my portable electronics to be minty fresh.

By bug77 on 10/24/2011 4:13:05 PM , Rating: 3
Can we have a new section on DT "New battery tech that will never see the light of day"? There seems to be no shortage of articles in this area.

RE: Suggestion
By titanmiller on 10/24/2011 11:27:39 PM , Rating: 2
That is good news. It means that a lot of research is being done on the subject. If only 1 in 1,000 pans out then hopefully there will still be plenty of innovation.

“We now know a thousand ways not to build a light bulb” -Thomas Edison

RE: Suggestion
By bug77 on 10/25/2011 4:07:37 AM , Rating: 2
I'm afraid that means many researchers know there's easy money to be had on such research. So they'll just try anything, even when they know there's 0% change for that technology to hit the market in the next 100 years.
Not a total waste, but not the most efficient way to spend those money either. Meanwhile, we happily ignore that we don't have significantly better batteries than we did 10 years ago.

Safe? Really?
By KGBird on 10/24/2011 7:01:46 PM , Rating: 2
I'll have to wait for the final verdict on the safety of a fluoride battery. In Li-ion batteries, you have to watch out for the electrolyte, which contains fluorine. When in contact with water, it can produce hydrofluoric acid, which can cause serious harm.

RE: Safe? Really?
By silverblue on 10/26/2011 7:44:18 AM , Rating: 2
...and fluorine gas is horribly dangerous.

Still, interesting technology.

Lithium-ion Battery
By lxtbattery on 10/27/2011 7:30:16 AM , Rating: 2
Lithium-ion Battery will be still common use in the future. Lithium-ion Battery

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