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Jun 27, 2012Science and Technology
Edison Batteries Get New Life
Stanford University scientists have sparked new life into rechargeable batteries developed by Thomas Edison in the early 1900s. The nickel-ion batteries have been reinvented by the addition of electrodes made by “growing nanocrystals of iron oxide onto graphene, and nanocrystals of nickel hydroxide onto carbon nanotubes." The electrodes drastically improve battery performance, dropping charge times to 2 minutes and discharge times to 30 seconds -- a 1,000 times difference. Researchers are quick to note though that an imperfect energy density and a poor lifespan means that the battery can’t be used on its own for transportation. Even then the battery still has a lot going for it. Its core component substances (nickel, iron, carbon, water, and potassium hydroxide) are abundant and safe and its rapid charge/discharge times are perfect for augmenting vehicle acceleration and regenerative braking or emergency situations when you have to charge and go in a hurry.
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