Previously, we had talked about self-charging batteries. But what about a battery component that keeps your devices powered up for double the magnitude of regular charge-time? Well, scientists at the ETH Zuric have concocted a composite glass made from vanadium pentoxide and borate compound, and the impressive result is the vanadate-borate glass. This material can be used as an electrode for lithium-ion batteries, and can potentially enhance their charge-times by a whopping hundred percent.
Researchers have previously dabbled with the possibility of using vanadium-based compounds, mainly due their higher capacity to store the charge (than conventionally used materials). But the predicament of vanadium pertains to its instability after just a few cycles of charging and discharging, mainly due to its crystalline structure. To that end, ETH Zuric scientists have found a solution by mixing powdered vanadium pentoxide with the aforementioned borate compounds. The resultant vanadate-borate glass doesn’t only exhibit an improved charging capacity but is also stable, and more importantly cheap to manufacture.
Now of course, the advantage of a high charge-capacity battery is not just limited to mobile devices, but also extends to other energy-intensive realms, including electric vehicles and even solar power plants. According to ETH Zuric (as said by Dr. Semih Afyon, a professor emeritus of chemistry) –
This would be enough energy to power a mobile phone between 1.5 and two times longer than today’s lithium-ion batteries. This may also increase the range of electric cars by one and a half times the standard amount. [However] these figures are still theoretical.
On the other side of the coin, such a technological scope is still in its nascent stage. To that end, ETH’s collaboration partner Belenos has already applied for a patent concerning the new composite glass. However in practical terms, such a conceptual ambit typically takes more than a decade to make its foray into the commercial market.