New battery technology is on the horizon and there’s a good chance it will change the way you use your devices soon. By replacing the graphite anode in lithium-ion batteries with titanium dioxide nanotubes, researchers at Nanyang Technical University in Singapore have been able to significantly improve the charging time and life of lithium-ion battery cells.

Why is it important? Because now we all, one way or another, plan our lives around the limitations of modern battery technology.

Consumers don’t buy electric cars because the batteries aren’t good enough (even though the cars themselves are faster, more efficient and more durable). Consumers worry about the charge of their smartphones. Patients with implantable medical devices such as pacemakers have to worry about charge levels, and the consequences can be dire. Modern batteries, despite significant progress in recent years, charge slowly, do not store much energy, and degrade rather quickly. As a result, they form a long tent in many areas, from augmented reality about self-driving cars

There are many new battery technologies on the horizon: battery technologies that are about to but this one is known for how close it is to commercialization.

How titanium dioxide batteries work


So how does the new breakthrough work? In a typical lithium-ion battery, the negative terminal (anode) is usually made of thin graphite, which has a relatively large surface area, allowing it to react efficiently with the acid in the battery to create current (or draw current while charging). However, these reactions are not ideal, and over time, the battery loses capacity.

Right now, typical batteries lose a significant fraction of their maximum charge capacity in just five hundred charge cycles (little more than a year’s charge for each day) — and since the reaction generates heat, there are limits to how much juice you can pour into a battery without increasing reaction inefficiency. and risking thermal damage to the battery.

The NTU team solved this problem by developing a simple, low-cost method to convert titanium dioxide, a rich industrial material, into nanotube structures about a thousand times thinner than a human hair. This makes the chemical reactions that make the battery work substantially more efficient.

This has two effects: First, the battery can draw more current with less heat, allowing the battery to be charged to 70% capacity in about two minutes. Secondly, the battery’s chemical reactions are more efficient, both in use and when recharging. This means the battery drains much more slowly, allowing the same battery to potentially last more than two decades without replacement.

Fast charging and long service life

Batteries also need to be somewhat denser, as the nanotube gel » can bond to the terminal without the need for adhesives, a design change that increases the overall mass of the reagent.


These new batteries are likely to have wide implications, including helping to reduce charging times at vehicle charging stations to waiting times comparable to traditional gas vehicles (less than five minutes golden range). They can also save drivers the trouble of replacing batteries every few years, which can cost thousands of dollars.

It also makes it more practical to «fast» charge your devices throughout the day as needed. Forgot to charge phone charge last night? No problem — you can drop it on the charger and it will be ready by the time you find another sock. They contribute a lot to the way we use our devices and will greatly relieve us from worrying about charging and allow us to use our devices in a more natural and free way.

It’s not a denser silver bullet, faster charging, and more durable, but two out of three isn’t bad.

New batteries coming soon

Since the technology can be integrated into existing battery manufacturing processes, it is likely that it will hit the market sooner rather than later. The creator, Dr. Chen, is in the process of licensing the technology to a battery manufacturer and expects the first batteries built using the technology to hit the market within two years.


Rashid Yazami, co-inventor of the lithium-ion graphite anode battery and Dr. Chen’s colleague at NTU, believes Chen’s technology is the logical next step forward for battery technology.

“Although the cost of lithium-ion batteries has come down significantly and their performance has improved since Sony launched them in 1991, the market is rapidly expanding towards new mobility and energy storage applications. […] Ideally, charging times for batteries in electric vehicles should be less than 15 minutes, as proven by Professor Chen’s nanostructured anode.”

Are you excited for the future of battery technology? What apps will most impact your life? Could this be the turning point for buying an electric car for you? Let us know about it in the comments!

Image Credit: Battery Via Shutterstock, «Battery Recycling», Heather Kennedy, «Charging an Electric Vehicle», Alan Trotter, «Nanotubes-300», James Joel, «Carbon Nanotube», Jeff Hutchison

Похожие записи