Graphene Nanotubes: The Latest Advancement in Li-ion Batteries
Researchers at Rice University have used a method they developed for unzipping carbon nanotubes and turning them into graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) (shown here) to create better anodes for lithium-ion batteries. (Source: Rice University)
Funny, Rob, I think we are having the same conversation in two comment strings! I just replied about this topic in another comment on another battery story (there seem to be a lot out there!). It's just as appropriate to your comment here:
The thing is, Rob, that is probably best. But it would also be good if some of these researchers could get on the same page, at least with some of the complementary technologies. I know there are two separate research groups, for example, working on the use of nanotechnology and silicon to improve Li batteries...but I think for now they are separate projects. While I think there won't be a one-size-fits-all solution in the future, some of these solutions could be combined, I think, for a better battery.
Yes, taimoortariq, battery research has a tendency to sound a lot better in the lab. When it reaches applications, energy density tends to drop (due to the addition of dead weight to the battery enclosure) and cost tends to climb (due to economic reality).
This might be a breakthrough in technology, but is it cost effective and highly reproducable for mass production? These are the questions that need to be answered outside the laboratory. It would be amazing to get hold of such a battery, which is compact in size and greater in power, but if its not availiable at a cheaper price then its of no use.
Nonetheless, a great advancement in research & hope that we can benefit from it in the future.
Yes, Elizabeth, we could see a lot of unnecessary wheel spinning if research is not shared. These are big problems that have tpo be solved. If some of these battery problems are not solved, it will hurt the future of EVs and hybrids.
Lots of times what's not translating into the real world isn't the technology's performance so much as whether its manufacturing can be scaled up/commercialized and how costly it is to do so. Meanwhile, Stanford researchers have come up with a couple of other new ways for making nanostructures to improve Li-Ion battery performance: http://cen.acs.org/articles/91/web/2013/06/Crab-Shells-Help-Researchers-Make.html http://news.stanford.edu/pr/2013/pr-bao-cui-hydrogel-060313.html
Isn't that the truth, Chuck? If any of these batteries lives up to their promise outside of the lab, it would be a real breakthrough. But I guess we won't know that until some of the go into commercial production, which could take awhile.
That's a good point, Rob, but I am not aware of any combination of efforts. It seems to me a lot of these efforts are sort of separate, although sometimes there is cross-university or research-instituation collboration, and the government seems to be involved in quite a few of them. But you're right, if some of this isn't merged at some point, there may never be real progress.
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This year, Design News is getting a head start on the Fourth of July celebration. In honor of our country and its legacy of engineering innovation -- in all of its forms -- we are taking you on an alphabetical tour through all 50 states to showcase interesting engineering breakthroughs and historically significant events.
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