Lighter Laptops And More Efficient Electric Cars With 'Cheap' Jelly Batteries

by Tanya Thomas on  September 12, 2011 at 11:14 PM General Health News
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Researchers from the University of Leeds have developed a new polymer jelly that replaces the volatile and hazardous liquid electrolyte currently used in most lithium batteries.

They hope their development would lead to smaller, cheaper and safer gadgets.
 Lighter Laptops And More Efficient Electric Cars With 'Cheap' Jelly Batteries
Lighter Laptops And More Efficient Electric Cars With 'Cheap' Jelly Batteries

Once on the market, the lithium jelly batteries could allow lighter laptop computers, and more efficient electric cars.

Battery size still dictates the size and weight of most laptops, said the developers of the new battery.

The newly developed jelly batteries should prevent "thermal runaway", during which batteries can reach hundreds of degrees and catch fire.

The Leeds-based researchers are promising that their jelly batteries are as safe as polymer batteries, perform like liquid-filled batteries, but are 10 to 20percent the price of either.

The secret to their success lies in blending a rubber-like polymer with a conductive, liquid electrolyte into a thin, flexible film of gel that sits between the battery electrodes.

"The polymer gel looks like a solid film, but it actually contains about 70percent liquid electrolyte," BBC News quoted lead author Professor Ian Ward as saying.

"The remarkable thing is that we can make the separation between the solid and liquid phase at the point that it hits the electrodes," he added.

Source: ANI

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