It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Engineers and scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have achieved a breakthrough in the use of a one-atom thick structure called "graphene" as a new carbon-based material for storing electrical charge in ultracapacitor devices, perhaps paving the way for the massive installation of renewable energies such as wind and solar power.
The researchers believe their breakthrough shows promise that graphene (a form of carbon) could eventually double the capacity of existing ultracapacitors, which are manufactured using an entirely different form of carbon.
For example, regarding the longevity of the battery, Altair says “This nano-titanate material is a “zero strain” material in terms of lithium ion internal deposition and release. The lithium ions have the same size as the sites they occupy in the nano-titanate particles. As a result the nano-titanate particles do not have to expand or shrink when the ions are entering or leaving the nano-titanate particles, therefore resulting in no (zero) strain to the nano-titanate material. This property results in a battery that can be charged and discharged significantly more often than conventional rechargeable batteries because of the absence of particle fatigue that plagues materials such as graphite. Conventional lithium batteries can be typically charged about 750 times before they are no longer useful, whereas, in laboratory testing, the Altairnano NanoSafe battery cells have now achieved over 9,000 charge and discharge cycles at charge and discharge rates up to 40 times greater than are typical of common batteries, and they still retain up to 85% charge capacity.”
In their backgrounder on why their battery can charge quickly, Altair makes some noteworthy claims: “By using nano-titanate materials as the negative electrode material, lithium metal plating does not occur because the electro-chemical properties of the nano-titanate allow the deposition of lithium in the particles at high rates. These electrical properties mean that even at very cold temperatures there is no risk of plating. No undesirable interaction takes place with the electrolyte in the Altairnano batteries, which permits the battery to be charged very rapidly, without the risk of shorting or thermal runaway. In fact, in recent laboratory testing, Altairnano has demonstrated that a NanoSafe cell can be charged to over 80% charge capacity in about one minute.”