Better Performing Laptop Batteries for Consumers
One of the biggest disadvantages with using battery powered products is that batteries have a limited lifespan. Expanding a battery's lifespan is an area in which manufacturers of laptops, hybrid cars, and cell phones are constantly working on.
The Argonne National Laboratory recently announced that they have come up with a new way to develop lithium-ion batteries. With their latest discovery, Argonne is able to increase the battery capacity in lithium-ion batteries by up to 30%
Currently these batteries have many markets cornered, among them the laptop computer industry. In contrast with its previous counterparts, these laptop batteries tend to be more reliable as well as lighter. However, they also have a downside. Lithium-ion batteries tend to overheat and last about 750 charges, (which means your battery will last about 3years).
The new material used by Argonne would allow these batteries to be charged up to 1,500 times. This is a significant increase from 750. They accomplished this increase by creating a new compound within the battery that acts as a stabilizer.
Today's laptop batteries use cobalt oxide electrodes. Using this electrode is the main cause for excessive heating. In order to combat the overheating issues as well as increase storage capabilities Argonne used manganese oxide.
Manganese oxide acts as a stabilizing force for a laptop battery because it contains more inactive materials that help balance out the electrochemically active ones.
This technology seems to be ideal for laptops and shows promise for cell phone use, but not quite so great for the hybrid car industry. However, Argonne is looking to expand their current capabilities to create a better power source for hybrid vehicles. In Argonne's efforts to market this new battery they have made an agreement with Japanese company Toda Kogya.
The following statement was released by Gary Henriksen, Manager of the Electrochemical Energy Storage Department at Argonne, regarding this new deal: "Our agreement with Toda Kogyo is an important step toward bringing to market key advanced lithium-ion battery technologies that are being developed here at Argonne with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy." He also continued to say, "The technologies being licensed will enhance the performance, life and inherent safety of lithium-ion cells compared to those that employ the cobalt-based cathode technology that has dominated the market since the introduction of lithium-ion batteries in 1990."
The Toda Kogyo Company has been around since 1823. It is the world's leading manufacturer of iron oxide particles. Their designs for using these particles as well as their ability to manufacture new technologies will help bring these new batteries to the world market.
Currently, there is no word on how long it will take them to implement this discovery in laptops.
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