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Old 06-06-2017, 10:54 PM   #1
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Default A new battery better than Lithium?

The April 28 issue of Science describes a new battery that people from the US Naval Observatory and "EnZinc Inc" believe can outdo lithium-based batteries. When they envision replacing the battery in a 24 kWh Nissan Leaf with the new battery, it would be 100 kg lighter, smaller, and cheaper. The advantages are partly due to reduction of the "subsystems" Li-ions need (thermal management, electronic controls, and structural safety protections). The chemistry is nickel-zinc ("3D" zinc), globally available and recyclable elements, and nonflammable. They describe using the battery successfully for repeated 40% DOD, too. The article seems rather pragmatic, not an edgy theoretical announcement. Maybe lead battery users can hang on for this and skip a battery generation.
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:31 AM   #2
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Here's a link: This new battery could save your cellphone from going up in smoke | Science | AAAS

Anyone remember the "five times more powerful and five times cheaper than today's within five years" topic from around 5 years ago?

I periodically check their site: Joint Center for Energy Storage Research - I can't say I understand much of the stuff I read there but they are working on it.

Something better will eventually come along but it doesn't seem imminent.
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:12 AM   #3
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Using zinc anode in batteries is very old so from the perspective of its chemical reaction it is no brainer, but, by many zinc is consider a dead-end street due to its fatal flow of growing dendrites keeping battery life charge cycles unacceptable. The first Zn-Cu cell was developed by Alessandro Volta 200 years ago.

It reminds me a story of a blue LED, when the science world was considering the gallium nitride, partially developed to blue LED by RCA - 1971, as a dead-end street but a few Japanese scientists, today's Nobel prize winners, were persistent and developed GaN blue LED, a key to white LED light bulbes we buy today (to form white light Red+Blue+Green are needed).

Perhaps the same will happen with Zinc, I hope.
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:11 AM   #4
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The trick seems to be the "monolithic 3D sponge" nature of the zinc anode which avoids dendrite formation. They say the sponge can be molded into any shape.

The article includes electron micrographs after 100 cycles showing "No dendrites are formed when the Ni-3D Zn cell is discharged at 25mA/cm^2 to 40% DOD(zn) and recharged at either 5mA/cm^2 to 10 mA/cm^2." The same after 54,000 cycles low discharges (comparable to BMW AGM "start-stop drive cycle"). But, they are testing 1 cm^2 coin cells now.

It's hard to get published in Science, and certainly a real boon for any company looking for financing. I hope EnZinc has something and they will be able to bring it to market.
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:03 PM   #5
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Wow, you guys are really into these things! I don't understand a whole lot of it - but I love to read...and sooner or later - learn. Thanks for the info. Ron
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Old 06-12-2017, 12:39 AM   #6
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There are several papers by this group addressing the zinc issues. They also have some on the nickel. Good reads.

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