Researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Illinois have developed a new type of lithium-ion battery that can store up to 30% more energy than current models. As ExtremeTech reports, the new battery design simultaneously prevents overheating and improves battery stability while enhancing lifespan and energy capacity. The site elaborates:
To be able to prevent overheating and combustion, researchers replace cobalt oxide electrodes (which easily overheat) with manganese oxide--a more stable material. . . . Furthermore, in order to increase the battery's storage capacity, researchers form a composite by mixing inactive materials with electrochemically active ones. Being inactive, the former doesn't incur any charge, and hence adds stability to the battery.
Thanks to the composite, laptop batteries based on the new design can reportedly be charged and discharged 1,500 times, or twice as many times as current lithium-ion designs. The composite also allows the new batteries to store "20 to 30 percent" more energy than their older siblings.
According to ExtremeTech, Argonne National Laboratory has licensed the technology to Japanese firm Toda Kogyo, which specializes in iron-oxide-based products. The Japanese company "is said to be able to manufacture 30 million laptop batteries with this new technology." Meanwhile, the researchers at Argonne who developed the new battery design are looking into applications for hybrid cars.