- A critical technique has been developed that allows lithium-air batteries to be recharged many times.
- Lithium-air batteries promise three to five times as much energy as lithium-ion.
- Such a battery would allow a person to talk for a week without charging a cellphone or drive 500 miles in a Chevy Volt.
A benign gas could be the most powerful thing yet tapped to energize your electronic devices: Air. Researchers in the UK say they have made a key step in development of a lithium-air battery, a device that promises three to five times as much energy per unit mass as the existing lithium-ion batteries that we use in our consumer devices and electric vehicles.
Once built, such a battery could allow you to fly cross-country flights with a functioning laptop, or talk for a week without charging your cellphone or even a take a 500-mile journey in a Chevy Volt, for example, instead of the 100 miles it runs today.
The experiment by Peter G. Bruce, professor of chemistry at the University of St. Andrew's in Scotland, and colleagues was published today in online journal Science Express. It describes a chemical reaction that allows the battery to be recharged without degradation of the battery's electrode.