Chinese scientists developed aluminum-graphene battery that can be charged in seconds
Chinese scientists developed aluminum-graphene battery that can be charged in seconds
Author: Matej Balen
27th December 2017
HANGZHOU – Xinhua reports that a team of researchers from Zhejiang University have developed a new type of aluminum-graphene battery that can be charged in seconds, instead of hours.

The team, led by professor Gao Chao, from Department of Polymer Science and Engineering of Zhejiang University, designed a battery using graphene films as anode and metallic aluminum as cathode.

The battery could work well after quarter-million cycles and can be fully charged in seconds. Experiments show that the battery retains 91 percent of its original capacity after 250,000 recharges, surpassing all the previous batteries in terms of cycle life.

In quick charge mode, the battery can be fully charged in 1.1 seconds, according to Gao. The finding was detailed in a paper recently published in Science Advances. The assembled battery also works well in temperatures range of minus 40 to 120 degrees Celsius. It can be folded, and does not explode when exposed to fire.

However, the aluminum-ion battery still cannot compete with commonly-used Li-ion batteries in terms of energy density, or the amount of power you can store in a battery in relation to the size, according to Gao. "It is still expensive to make such battery. Commercial production of the battery will be possible when we can find cheaper electrolyte, which is the next step" Gao said.

Graphene, a sheet of carbon atoms bound together in a honeycomb lattice pattern, is hugely recognized as a “wonder material” due to the myriad of astonishing attributes it holds. It is a potent conductor of electrical and thermal energy, extremely lightweight chemically inert, and flexible with a large surface area. It is also considered eco-friendly and sustainable, with unlimited possibilities for numerous applications.

Developers believe graphene batteries will have huge impact in the field of electric vehicles. Several car makers announced they plan to implement new technology. Fisker Automotive plans to use graphene-enhanced battery in their future electric sports cars. Tesla also suggested the development of a "new battery technology" that will almost double the capacity for their Model S electric car and that is unofficially a graphene-based battery. Graphene Nanochem and Sync R&D plan to co-develop graphene-enhanced Li-Ion batteries for electric buses.

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