March 28, 2012 00:27 by Jeremy
Today, the car makers BMW and Toyota have decided to pool their forces together in an effort to research the next-generation of Lithium-Ion batteries and battery cells. More specifically, they'll be focusing on "increasing the performance and capacity of lithium-ion battery cells".
This isn't the first time they've made headlines together, however: back in Dec. 2011, the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) concerning a "mid-to-long-term collaboration on next-generation environment-friendly technologies", so today's news really shouldn't be a shocker.
Originally, the vehicle-giants were to focus on the application of lithium-ion battery cells towards hybrid and electric cars. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that our smartphone or laptop batteries won't get a nice boost in research as well.
Sources: motorauthority (Li-Ion batts), motorauthority (MOU)
Simotomo Electric Industries, Ltd. (SEI) has developed a new battery based on Celmet, a highly porous metal made from nickel. Due to the structure of Celmet, it has become reknowned as a current-collecting ingredient, making it ideal for collecting charges in a battery.
Celmet has been gaining popularity recently due to its use in nickel-hydrogen batteries for hybrid cars. And now, SEI has combined Celmet with Aluminum, making the material Aluminum-Celmet.
This offers a few advantages, such as the fact that Aluminum is lighter than Celmet's frequent-partner Nickel. Also, Aluminum is used often with smaller batteries, such as AA's and AAA's. Due to its light weight, it coudl likely be added to lithium-ion secondary batteries and capacitors to improve their capacity.
With Aluminum-Celmet inside of rechargeable batteries, we could see the creation of even smaller, faster-charging batteries for our electronic devices.
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