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Why Do Li-Ion Batteries Degrade Over Time?

clock October 21, 2010 00:42 by author Jeremy

In latest news, scientists have dug deeper into the mystery of why lithium-ion batteries degrade over time. The answer, they currently believe, lies in nanoscale changes in the anode and cathode. Giorgio Rizzoni, along with colleagues at the Ohio State University, experimented with batteries that had finished their working lifespan. "We can clearly see that an aged sample versus and unaged sample has much lower lithium concentration in the cathode." In essence, the lithium had actually combined wtih the anode material, making it unavailable for transfer.

With the use of infrared thermal imaging, researchers were able to discover that the electrodes on dead batteries had nanomaterials that had coarsened in size. It is these finely-structured nanomaterials on the electrodes that allow the battery to charge and discharge. Though not yet proven, researchers are suspect that it is this cathode-coarsening that may be responsible for the loss of lithium.

If that theory turns out to be true, it could be a scientific breakthrough, as researchers and scientists could then use that information to create longer-lasting durable lithium ion batteries. This affects not only our electronic devices with laptops, digital cameras, and cell phones, but could also affect the future of gasoline-powered vehicles.

Source: itnews.com/au

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1 Million Pounds of Batteries and Cell Phones Recycled

clock October 8, 2010 19:17 by author Ty

Recycling Batteries

Call2Recycle.org has met their goal of recycling over 1 million pounds of rechargeable batteries as of October 1, 2010. Recycling goals were set back on July 21, 2010 and over 1.24 million pounds of batteries have been recycled and not dumped into landfills. This program shows everyone the ease of recycling and the importance of protecting our environment from toxic materials. Rechargeable batteries are a long-lasting and environmentally friendly power source for many electronic devices. Rechargeable batteries can be found in laptops, digital cameras, camcorders, cell phones, cordless phones, cordless power tools, UPS devices, and other electronics. Even though the goal of recycling 1 million pounds of batteries has been met, we ask that you continue to recycle your rechargeable batteries and do not throw them away in the trash.

More information on how Call2Recycle met their 1 million pound battery recycling goal can be found on their battery recycling Web site.


Batteries Ready to be Recycled


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Check your Smoke Detector Batteries for Fire Prevention Week

clock October 5, 2010 19:18 by author Ty

Smoke Alarm Fire Prevention Week NFPA

It is fire prevention week promoted by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) and we are encouraging everyone to check and replace their smoke detector batteries in their home. Most smoke detectors in homes are battery powered because many homes are not wired for smoke detector alarms. Alkaline disposable batteries or rechargeable batteries can be used to power the smoke detectors. Smoke detector alkaline batteries should be replaced twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring to ensure that they work. If rechargeable batteries are being used, they should be recharged more frequently on a month to month basis, but we don't recommend using them in smoke detectors. The NFPA, recommends that home-owners replace smoke detector batteries with a new battery at least once per year, when it starts chirping (a signal that its charge is low), or when it fails a test, which the NFPA recommends to be carried out at least once per month by pressing the "test" button on the alarm.

Smoke detector safety tips can be found on the NFPA Web site.

2010 Fire Prevention Week by the NFPA. http://www.firepreventionweek.org/

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Car Parts that Store Battery Power

clock September 30, 2010 20:25 by author Ty

Volvo is developing car body panels to be used as energy storage with nanomaterials made of extremely thin and strong carbon fiber. The roof, hood and doors will be used as battery storage for energy and can reduce weight by 15% per panel.  By adding these energy battery panels, the battery power capacity is nearly doubled in a hybrid and EV car. Additional rage for an electric vehicle (EV) car is projected to be an additional 80 miles. The body panels will charge and discharge when the car’s electric motor is used. Energy can be stored in the panels thorough the cars alternator / generator, harnessing energy when the car brakes, and by plugging into the electricity power grid. Volvo’s ultimate goal is the replace the battery entirely, but more research and development is required to make that jump. 

Energy Storing Body Panel Battery

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Batteries. The Next Generation.

clock September 20, 2010 21:23 by author Ty

Each year battery technology improves right alongside of computing hardware, processing speed, memory capacity, sensors and other electronic advancements. If you recall Moore’s law, "The number of transistors incorporated in a chip will approximately double every 24 months." This can hold true for battery technology as well, and has opened new doors to higher capacity, longer lasting, and quicker recharging batteries.

Virus-powered batteries are being developed by a team of MIT researchers using lithium-ion battery technology with a harmless virus called M13. The M13 virus is a bacteriophage that creates a lightweight and multi-purpose battery that can be made in any shape or size. This allows the virus powering rechargeable batteries to be woven into closed and used for portable devices, such as iPods, GPS, radios, cell phones and other small devices. The U.S. military is interested in testing this technology on a larger scale with UAV drones.

Rechargeable batteries through kinetic energy are also on the horizon for future batteries. Just simply shake your device to keep it playing your favorite song, track your GPS location, or carry endless amounts of cell phone power. Nokia Corporation has recently filed a patent for the use of a battery using kinetic energy to power a device, which was called the “Piezoelectric Kinetic Energy Harvester.” Kinetic energy powered cell phones definitely look like a possibility for Nokia in the near future.

Swappable batteries are nothing new for electronic device technology. We do this with our cell phones, digital cameras, and radios when we run out of juice and need a full charge immediately. However, we have not seen Electric Vehicles (EVs) with swappable batteries readily available. With the growing amounts of EVs on the road, you can expect to see longer lasting batteries giving further range for electric cars. Many EVs have limited range, but a universal battery pack could resolve this issue by supplying fully charged battery packs that can be swapped at fuel stations across the country.

As technology keeps advancing, so will battery technology. Keep up to date with rechargeable batteries and recycle your used batteries to keep the green trend growing with renewable energy and minimizing your carbon footprint.

Source: The Future of Batteries

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