For many years, lithium based batteries have swarmed the market, which make it as among the top choices for many. It was in 1912 when the idea of creating lithium battery began. Then in the early 1970s, people got access to the first non-rechargeable lithium batteries.
Today, we are all familiar with rechargeable lithium batteries because we use it in many of the things we do. However, these have several advantages such as the higher cost. It also degrades easily at high temperature and cannot be charged rapidly at freezing temperatures. So, what then is the practical alternative? Well, there is now a safer alternative that has been making buzz – the aluminum based battery.
Aluminum Batteries: Better and Safer Alternative
The concept used in making aluminum-based batteries is also the same concept used in lithium batteries. The atoms, which come from a metal anode, are oxidized when the battery is discharged. The electrons are then driven back to the anode when the battery is recharged.
Below are the reasons why aluminum batteries are better than lithium batteries.
• Ability to customize smartphone batteries. According to Chemistry Professor Hongjie Dai, head of the research team at Stanford, they were able to develop a rechargeable aluminum battery that can easily replace the current storage devices of lithium-based batteries. In the past, there have been failed attempts to design aluminum batteries that can fit into smartphones. At Stanford, they were able to overcome the deficiencies and weaknesses of past attempts. They used graphite for the cathode component of the battery, which resulted to a successful battery design fit for smartphones.
• Faster charging. One of the amazing capabilities of aluminum batteries is that it can be recharged in as fast as one minute. As of now, it is true for some applications only. But who knows, it can be possible in all types of application. Still, it is a discovery that can advance other technologies hugely. For example, smartphone users don’t have to wait for so many minutes or even hours just to have their mobile device batteries fully charged. This will make mobile devices more mobile because it will become more convenient to carry smartphones anywhere and anytime. Aside from our gadgets, the faster charging capacity of aluminum-based batteries can also have a huge impact in the car industry. In recent years, hybrid and electric cars are gaining slow popularity. But if it will become possible to have a car battery that can be recharged in as fast as refilling the gas tank, then there will surely be a surge in the number of electric car users
• Will not cause a fire. Lithium batteries are always vulnerable to fire. When there is too much heat or the temperature is very high, it can instantly burst into flame and cause unexpected fire. The lithium battery when exposed to extreme heat may burst while it is in your pocket, bag, and car or anywhere it is placed.
• More affordable. Compared to lithium, aluminum is abundant. IT also costs less. This makes it an encouraging factor for manufacturers to mass-produce aluminum-based batteries. In effect, it could significantly reduce the cost of battery-reliant devices and vehicles.
With these advantages, we can expect the availability of more affordable and more advantageous batteries – that is the aluminum-based batteries.