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Future Tech: 

New batteries charge 70% in two minutes


It seems like the days of carrying a charger everywhere for fear of our devices dying out, are about to come to an end.

Invented by Associate Professor Chen Xiaodong of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU), a new variant of traditional lithium ion batteries can charge up to 70% of their capacity in just two minutes. Impressed? Well, just hold on because the fun doesn’t stop there. The new batteries are projected to have an average lifespan of twenty years (!). Compare that to today’s batteries with their paltry two-year life expectancy…

It was all made possible by rearranging the formation of titanium dioxide into nanotubes. By not placing additives to bind the electrodes to the anode and replacing the graphite typically used in lithium-ion batteries with a gel made from the aforementioned titanium dioxide nanotubes, the researchers managed to produce these frankly remarkable results.

The university’s press release hosted comments by NTU Professor Rachid Yazami (co-inventor of the lithium-graphite anode that’s used in all lithium-ion batteries we use today), claiming that Prof Chen’s invention is the next big leap in battery technology.

Commenting further on the project he said, “There is still room for improvement and one such key area is the power density – how much power can be stored in a certain amount of space – which directly relates to the fast charge ability. Ideally, the charge time for batteries in electric vehicles should be less than 15 minutes, which Prof Chen’s nanostructured anode has proven to do.”

(Clockwise from top) NTU Assoc Prof Chen Xiaodong with research fellow Tang Yuxin and PhD student Deng Jiyang

(Clockwise from top) NTU Assoc Prof Chen Xiaodong with research fellow Tang Yuxin and PhD student Deng Jiyang

And there’s even better news…

The time to manufacture of these new batteries is a mere two years, so by 2016 we’ll no longer be tethered to power outlets and free to roam as we please with our gadgets. Well, almost as we please.

What kind of gizmo, invention or device would you want to see become a reality in the near future? A flying car? An interactive house maybe? Take it to the comment box and let us know!

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