This battery breakthrough could change the world

“Researchers at the University of California Irvine (UCI) may have discovered a way to drastically increase the life of modern day batteries,” Wiehahn Diederichs reports for Gearburn. “And the best part is that they stumbled upon this solution by accident.”

“To be more specific, the discovery was made by fifth-year PhD student, Mya Le Thai. Mya was working on an electrolyte gel that was to substitute the electrolyte liquid currently found in batteries in an attempt to make it more affordable,” Diederichs reports. “But in a coincidental twist of fate (thank you battery gods), her solution also happened to significantly extend the lifespan of a battery.”

“Typically, a Lithium Ion battery can go through between 5000 and 7000 recharge cycles before it dies and will also gradually lose its energy storage capacity over time,” Diederichs reports. “When researchers applied Thai’s plexiglass-like gel to gold nanowires in a manganese dioxiode shell, it increased that number to over 200,000 and the battery didn’t lose any of its power or storage capacity over a period of three months.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, further studies proven valuable and the technology can progress as quickly as possible out of the lab and into real-life use. Batteries are the killer bottleneck of mobile technology.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Rainy Day” for the heads up.]

38 Comments

  1. What difference could this possibly make for Apple users. They will just slow the clock speeds of old products on subsequent iOS releases to make older products unusable anyway, lol. Just what I need, an old pos with a great battery.

      1. botty is back with more political BS. This article was about BATTERIES, botty (pardon the yelling to others), not politics. I don’t want to hear about Clinton or Trump on this forum. And, since that is all that you seem to be capable of talking about, I don’t want to hear from you.

        By the way, have you ever considered that your obsession with Clinton is unrequited love? lol

      2. “buzz,” heh, I think I get it. I’m beginning to understand how your mind works. Battery life is so very important to our uninterrupted pleasures, no more so than with certain indispensible devices auch as the ones you envision being employed by our future Chief Executive. Nothing at all to do with politics, just human nature. 😝

    1. Do not feed the troll. He has now gone from commenting on stories that have a legitimate political angle to making irrelevant comments that are intended only to anger people and provoke flame responses. Do not reward him by giving him what he wants.

  2. Good news yes, but longer lifespan is only one of a handful of key factors that batteries need.

    Charge-Discharge rates, charge per unit volume, temperature range performance, flammability, failure modes, outgassing under various conditions and many more need to be very good to be a true breakthrough.

    It takes a long time to get a truly new battery design in production.

    1. Yes, number of charge cycles is an issue, but there are Li batteries with known charge cycle capability of > 10,000 with less than a 20% impact in total charge retention. That’s over 27 years at a full recharge each day.

      What we really need is a major leap forward in energy density both energy per gram and energy per cubic centimeter.

      If the battery in an Apple Watch could last eight days (a full week plus a reserve) under normal use then Apple would sell many, many more. Hell, I’d even consider one to replace the 35 year old Casio currently on my wrist.

      An increase in charge rate capability would be nice too. An iPhone going from completely discharged to completely charged in 15 minutes or less would be fantastic. But, charge rate (most people charge their phones and smart watches overnight) is definitely secondary to energy density.

      1. This.

        The general “trick” with life management on Li-Po’s is to watch your criteria for max discharge.

        And the general “thing” to watch for with energy density is that there’s been hundreds of laboratory breakthroughs which have seemingly gone ‘nowhere’ because they’re tiny petri dish experiments that haven’t demonstrated the ability to scale up in size (use case) or capacity (production readiness) to be applicable to real world products. Sure, we’ll eventually get there, but only if the R&D is directed into the correct ‘problem statement’, which isn’t purely energy density, but into the { manufacturability / producibility / maintainability } aspects.

  3. The article says nothing about increasing the energy density of batteries. It only says these new-technology batteries can be charged more times and don’t wear out over time as quickly. In other words, a battery made with this new technology that weighs the same as a present battery won’t power your device any longer on a full charge than the old technology battery. It will just not wear out. Since phones these days almost never outlast their batteries, this issue is not pressing for most of us. It will help in situations where the batteries are used long enough to wear out, like in airplanes cars, etc. In those instances, the cost of the new battery would have to be low enough so it made economic sense to use it rather than a less expensive battery that needs to be replaced more frequently. What the world needs is a battery with dramatically greater energy density. MDN should concentrating on bringing that research to our attention.

    1. Since myself and family members shop wisely, we are always 1 or 2 iPhone generations behind and get great deals on those phones. Would be great knowing the battery is still going strong for many more years.

    2. I agree. 7,000 battery cycles translates to 10 years of use for an iPhone, if you charge up twice a day, an unlikely scenario, except in electric cars on long trips. Energy density and recharge rate are the bumps in the road.

  4. “Batteries are the killer bottleneck of mobile technology.”

    Did you read the article, it doesn’t say you will get more charge out of it, just that it won’t kill the device as soon. Since the MDN editor seems to be a bleeding edge user with a new device every year, it won’t affect him/her at all.

    1. Seven years are alotted for the typical doctoral program. Any graduate student kept beyond that time are in an S&M relationship with their thesis advisor.

      1. Isaac Asimov’s (Ph.D. In Biochemistry, Columbia) own mother referred to the Ph.D. as “Phony Doctor.” In New Yawk Jewish-American culture, apparently only M.D.s, real medical doctors, were marriage-worthy.

  5. IF this technology were adopted, it certainly would not change the world as the headline says.

    Clearly having a cheaper electrolyte that offers longer life batteries is advantageous, but there would be no significant change to the battery capacity, recharging speed, weight, or bulk, which are the things that need to be dramatically improved in order to change the world.

    1. I disagree. In some applications it could change the word. The weakness in solar energy is storage. Having batteries that last and are affordable could be a game changer. This could be the thing that makes cleaner energy more affordable.

      Imagine an electric car where the battery lasts as long as the motor.

  6. Uhhh what about the environment? How amazing to just buy new machines and reuse the batteries. Fewer batteries in landfills and less lithium mining is a wonderful thing!!!

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