Bat­tery of op­tions

Down to Earth - - TECHNOLOGY -

SUL­PHUR Lithium-sul­phur bat­tery de­vel­oped by Vas­ant Ku­mar from the Univer­sity of Cam­bridge and Ren­jie Chen from the Beijing In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy. Made by wrap­ping graphene around a sul­phur elec­trode, the bat­tery pro­duces a con­duc­tive por­ous car­bon cage in which sul­phur acts as the host and each sul­phur­car­bon nanopar­ti­cle acts as an en­ergy stor­age unit. The bat­tery is deemed to have an en­ergy den­sity greater than lithium-ion bat­ter­ies. POTAS­SIUM Re­searchers at the Ore­gon State Univer­sity, USA, have shown that potas­sium can be used with graphite in a potas­sium-ion bat­tery, over­turn­ing decades of false as­sump­tions. X-ray dif­frac­tion stud­ies con­firm that KC36, KC24 and KC8 se­quen­tially form upon potas­si­a­tion, whereas de­potas­si­a­tion re­cov­ers graphite through phase trans­for­ma­tions in an op­po­site se­quence. SODIUM Graphene ox­ide pa­per elec­trode for sodium and lithium-ion bat­ter­ies de­vel­oped by Gur­preet Singh, as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of me­chan­i­cal and nu­clear en­ergy and La­muel David, a doc­toral stu­dent in me­chan­i­cal engi­neer­ing at the Kansas State Univer­sity, USA. They found that the sodium stor­age ca­pac­ity of pa­per elec­trodes de­pends on the dis­tance be­tween the in­di­vid­ual lay­ers that can be tuned by heat­ing it in ar­gon or am­mo­nia gas. VANDATE-BO­RATE GLASS Sci­en­tists at the Elec­tro­chem­i­cal Ma­te­ri­als In­sti­tute, Switzer­land, pro­posed vandate-bo­rate glass—a ma­te­rial made of vana­dium ox­ide and lithium bo­rate—as cath­ode ma­te­rial. The ma­te­rial is not only

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