Print 73 comment(s) - last by Shining Arcani.. on Aug 11 at 12:08 PM

The new batteries can also be recharged hundreds of thousands of times say MIT researchers

You could be charging your long lasting batteries in a matter of seconds in the future if several researchers at MIT get their way. According to a report on ScienCentralNews, researchers at MIT have discovered a new way of making batteries that involves using millions of nanotubes. Leaping over traditional battery technologies, the new types of batteries are based on capacitors, which have been around even longer than the battery itself.

A capacitor maintains a charge by relying on two metallic electrodes. The actual storage capacity of a capacitor is directly proportional to the surface area of those electrodes, and unfortunately making a capacitor in traditional battery sizes means that the electrode surface area is simply too small. To overcome this, the researchers cover the electrodes with millions of nanotube filaments, effectively increasing the surface area.

According to research team leader Joel Schindall "[the nanotube battery] could be recharged many, many times perhaps hundreds of thousands of times, and ... it could be recharged very quickly, just in a matter of seconds rather than a matter of hours." With such promise, Schindall and his team believes that the new technology will revolutionize portable electronics as well as the automotive industry. "Larger devices such as automobiles where you could regeneratively re-use the energy of motion and therefore improve the energy efficiency and fuel economy."

The research team at MIT is hoping that this new promising technology will show up in the market in less than five years from now.

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How long would the charge last?
By therealnickdanger on 8/9/2006 10:01:00 AM , Rating: 2
Seems to be the one thing missing from this exciting bit o' news...

RE: How long would the charge last?
By leviathan19 on 8/9/2006 10:02:38 AM , Rating: 2
exactly nice you can chatge the baterry in seconds but how much watts they produce and how long they last, imagine charging your laptop in 10 sec

RE: How long would the charge last?
By cgrecu77 on 8/9/2006 2:26:18 PM , Rating: 3
it doesn't matter, the key here is size, you could stack as many as of these as you need. If this is true and there's no hidden catch then it could be the biggest breakthrough since semiconductors ... the number of applications is huge and probably one of the most appealing is electric rechargable cars ...

RE: How long would the charge last?
By L1NUXownz1fUR1337 on 8/9/06, Rating: 0
RE: How long would the charge last?
By oTAL on 8/11/2006 1:12:53 AM , Rating: 2
ACtually that trend is reversing these last years... the oil companies are made of intelligent ppl who understand that money and power comes from controlling the energy sources. Since oil will soon belong to the past they are largely investing in other forms of energy.

By Shining Arcanine on 8/11/2006 12:03:08 PM , Rating: 2
Tesla Motors is designing electric cars:

Hopefully this battery technology will be able to expand the range and durability of their vehicles tremendously. Having a car with batteries that will last 3000 to 5000 years and goes thousands of miles on a single charge is much more appealing than having a car with batteries that will last 3 to 5 years and will go 250 miles on a single charge.

Or better yet...
By Cunthor01 on 8/10/2006 12:30:25 AM , Rating: 2
...recharging your laptop via USB cable via another pc. This is the future folks.

RE: How long would the charge last?
By phaxmohdem on 8/9/2006 10:03:56 AM , Rating: 3
Good question.... This tech looks very promising if they can pull it off. Also not mentioned is how expensive these batteries are to produce compared to Li-Ion technologies.

By rrsurfer1 on 8/9/2006 10:29:05 AM , Rating: 4
It's not stated, however I was interested in this as well... so I did some research:

Cathode materials have evolved from lithium cobalt oxide with energy density around 140 mAh/g (that's milliamp hours per gram of material)

Carbon nanotubes by themselves are able to adsorb a considerable amount of lithium. Nevertheless, the electrochemical performance of carbon nanotubes strongly depends on their structure and morphology, as well as on the level of disorder between nanotube bundles. The reversible capacity of etched multi-walled carbon nanotubes reached 681 mAh/g, exceeding the value obtained for purified multi-walled carbon nanotubes - 351 mAh/g. In the case of opened multi-walled carbon nanotubes, lithium storage capacity may get to 1281 mAh/g. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes with outer diameters of 20–50 nm exhibited a lithium storage capacity of 340 mAh/g. The capacities of single-walled carbon nanotubes vary between 450 mAh/g and 600 mAh/g.

So Standard Lithium: ~140 mAh/g
and Nanotubes: 340 - 1200 mAh/g

Now this tech may differ from what they are using at MIT, but it at least looks feasible that these batteries could store more energy, have longer life, and charge faster. Bring on the nanotubes!

By Spyvie on 8/9/2006 10:21:10 AM , Rating: 2
There was a press release about this a couple of months ago elsewhere on the web, pretty exciting technology.

The ability to charge a portable device in seconds is one thing, but this could really make electric cars useful if it comes to fruition. Even if the vehicles range is still only 100 miles or so you could “fill up” in as quickly as you can gas up today.

RE: How long would the charge last?
By OrSin on 8/9/2006 10:22:56 AM , Rating: 2
The would last a very long time. If you understand how capators works the charge doesn't just leave. This would be sweet for the car industry. Then 3 biggest ploblems are recharge rate, batter life and charge size. This would solve all the problems.

RE: How long would the charge last?
By VooDooAddict on 8/9/2006 11:10:58 AM , Rating: 3
Now we just need to make sure that the oil industry doesn't buy out the technology and bury it.

RE: How long would the charge last?
By TheDoc9 on 8/9/2006 11:46:46 AM , Rating: 2
lol, exactly. For some reason, since this will kill profits in these other industries, I doubt this technology will come to market anytime soon.

RE: How long would the charge last?
By cgrecu77 on 8/9/2006 2:29:38 PM , Rating: 3
oil is not just used for cars, and since the oil is running out anyway I doubt the oil companies would even have an interest in blocking this, au contraire, they should support it because oil prices can only raised so much until the global economy collapses which would hurt the oil companies just as much ...

RE: How long would the charge last?
By therealnickdanger on 8/9/2006 3:00:52 PM , Rating: 1
LOL, the last thing "the oil companies" would do is buy it out and bury it. Given that more of these cars on the road would result in greater electricity consumption - which is primarily dependent on coal and oil - they still win.

Also, we are not running out of oil, our production is simply not meeting demand. We find more and more recoverable oil deposits every month, more than we can probably ever use, but until we pump it out and refine it, it doesn't do us much good. So long as we don't cripple the oil industry with this "windfall" tax BS, they can use their profits for more exploration.

By Garreye on 8/9/2006 9:52:26 PM , Rating: 2
e find more and more recoverable oil deposits every month, more than we can probably ever use, but until we pump it out and refine it, it doesn't do us much good

I'd like to know where you got that from, everything I've ever read says basically the opposite of that.

By Shining Arcanine on 8/11/2006 12:08:29 PM , Rating: 2
It would actually result in lower oil and coal consumption, as electronic vehicles do not use oil and the electricity can be procured from anywhere, including coal and oil plants that have much greater efficiency than any type of car engine on the market.

By Aquila76 on 8/9/2006 2:22:09 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking this would be sweet for long-haul semi's, too. All the equipment on board (from the accessories to refrigeration units) could be run by an array of these batteries and make the vehicle overall more efficient.

RE: How long would the charge last?
By smitty3268 on 8/9/2006 10:24:56 AM , Rating: 2
The article says that the charge of capacitors will last longer than that of a traditional chemical battery. What it doesn't mention is how much power it could hold - although it does say old ones without nanotech hold 25 times less than chemical batteries of a similar size.

It sounds to me like this is more for cars and perhaps eventually laptops, but won't be replacing AA batteries any time soon.

RE: How long would the charge last?
By Etsp on 8/9/2006 4:24:05 PM , Rating: 2
"although it does say old ones without nanotech hold 25 times less than chemical batteries of a similar size. " Lets try to compare the traditional capacitors to ones with nano-tubes... We'll use water absorbance to represent electric capacity. The
traditional capacitors would be like printer paper while the new ones would be like a fluffy cotton towel. Actually, a comparison similar to what I just said was on DT's earlier article about this subject... in any case, my point is don't use traditional capacitors as a reference to nanotube capacitors in terms of how much energy they can store.

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