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Jelly Battery  (Source: University of Leeds)
Lithium jelly batteries are safer, thinner, and cheaper than current batteries

Batteries in cars and gadgets often have the same drawbacks. They tend to take a long time to charge and can be dangerous if they overheat or are punctured. A few years back there were widespread recalls after batteries were found to overheat and explode in some laptops.

A group of researchers from the University of Leeds has a new battery design that they hope will be safer and more efficient than current lithium batteries.

Current lithium batteries use a liquid electrolyte. The 
researchers have developed a new lithium jelly that can be used to replace that liquid electrolyte in today’s batteries. The hope is that the new lithium jelly would allow batteries in a laptop to be smaller and therefore lighter and could also make for more efficient electric vehicles

"Safety is of paramount importance in lithium batteries. Conventional lithium batteries use electrolytes based on organic liquids; this is what you see burning in pictures of lithium batteries that catch fire. Replacing liquid electrolytes by a polymer or gel electrolyte should improve safety and lead to an all-solid-state cell," said Professor Peter Bruce from the University of St Andrews, who was not involved in the study.

The jelly wouldn't leak out if the battery were punctured. The jelly batteries would also be able to prevent so-called “thermal runaway” where the battery in a device can quickly reach a very high temperature and catch fire.

The jelly is a rubber-like polymer that has a conductive electrolyte in a flexible gel film that sits between battery electrodes.

"The polymer gel looks like a solid film, but it actually contains about 70% liquid electrolyte," explained the study's lead author, Professor Ian Ward from the University of Leeds. "The remarkable thing is that we can make the separation between the solid and liquid phase at the point that it hits the electrodes."

The intriguing part is that the jelly batteries are said to be a safe as polymer batteries, but perform like liquid filled batteries while costing 10% to 20% less than the other battery types.

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great !
By cokbun on 9/13/2011 4:28:42 AM , Rating: 3
when will it come out?

RE: great !
By Zingam on 9/13/2011 4:48:08 AM , Rating: 5

RE: great !
By tastyratz on 9/13/2011 11:13:21 AM , Rating: 4
Things we read about on Dailytech actually come out?

RE: great !
By HrilL on 9/13/2011 12:59:48 PM , Rating: 2
I think so but it hasn't been long enough for most of the cool new things they are port on to become commerical. Lot of things a while ago were estimated for 2015 so we still got a long time =/

RE: great !
By topkill on 9/14/2011 4:28:11 PM , Rating: 2
Patience Grasshopper, patience. Some of these breakthroughs will eventually prove out and hit the market. :-)

Carbon nanotube batteries
By pwnsweet on 9/13/2011 5:17:40 AM , Rating: 2
I really want to know what became of those carbon nanotube batteries that I read about here on Dailytech about 2 years ago. Apparently they were being designed by some smart people over at MIT but it seems the promising technology has fallen off the planet.

In fact, over the years I've read about a great many promising new technologies that were being developed at MIT that all eventually fade away into obscurity. What's the deal with that?

RE: Carbon nanotube batteries
By kontorotsui on 9/13/2011 6:25:57 AM , Rating: 2
The deal with that is in the words marked in bold below:

The intriguing part is that the jelly batteries are said to be a safe as polymer batteries, but perform like liquid filled batteries while costing 10% to 20% less than the other battery types.

When you go from research to industrial reality, often a lot of new problems pop up, which prevent full scale production.

RE: Carbon nanotube batteries
By Shig on 9/13/2011 11:05:14 AM , Rating: 2
The word scientists fear most, COST.

The science is perfectly sound and has been proven. Producing it on a large scale so the batteries don't cost 100x as much, not so easy.

The thing about carbon nanotubes is that even a few nanometers of shape change in chirility, length, width, multi-walled, single-walled etc, can COMPLETELY change the desired effect. For example, a carbon nanotube can change from an insulator to a capacitor a few hundred thousand times in the blink of an eye if it is not properly functionalized.

Think an order of magnitude more complex than making computer processors.

By RivuxGamma on 9/15/2011 3:47:52 PM , Rating: 2
That's good and all, but do they have to come with wood screws in them? I await the day of screwless batteries.

RE: neato
By geddarkstorm on 9/16/2011 6:12:50 PM , Rating: 2
You might have a screw loose.

RE: neato
By Dorkyman on 9/20/2011 11:49:54 AM , Rating: 2
For your specific needs you can go with the "nail" option.

Jelly Bellies?
By bupkus on 9/13/2011 8:28:22 AM , Rating: 2
Jelly Bellies?

RE: Jelly Bellies?
By Fritzr on 9/15/2011 11:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
The Doctor's favorite :)

By Qapa on 9/14/2011 9:40:28 AM , Rating: 2
Give me any single one of them... but all of them is great as well, now just make it a reality please! :)

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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