Scientists Develop Aluminum-Ion Battery for Commercial Use

A group of scientists at Stanford University has developed a sustainable, high performing aluminum battery that is supposedly safer and less expensive to produce than the alkaline and lithium-ion batteries commonly used today. Chemistry professor Hongjie Dai and his Stanford colleagues claim that with improvements to cathode material, lithium-ion batteries have the potential to be of commercial use to power devices such as smartphones and other widespread battery enabled products. 

news_02_small“Aluminum has long been an attractive material for batteries, mainly because of its low cost, low flammability and high-charge storage capacity,” reports Stanford News.

Unfortunately, previous attempts at creating a widespread lithium-battery have been met with failure until Dai and his team discovered they could use graphite to build the cathode component of the aluminum battery. To be clear, an aluminum-ion battery consists of a negatively charged aluminum anode and a positively charged cathode, which turns out works well when made of graphite.

The aluminum-ion battery tested to be much safer than lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries can be quite flammable.

Alternatively, not only are aluminum-ion batteries extremely safe but they are also high performing as well. Dai and his team claim that the battery is capable of yielding ultra-fast charing results for mobile phones.

The life cycle of a lithium-ion battery is said to last beyond 7,500 charge-discharge cycles, which is especially remarkable when compared to the 1,000 cycles that a lithium-ion battery can sustain.

The group reports that their current prototypes of these aluminum-ion batteries have generated about “‘two volts of electricity… [which] [is] higher than anyone has achieved with aluminum.'”