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Drexel University's Dr. Yury Gogotsi (right) and colleagues have developed an ultrahigh-po...

Supercapacitors, also called electric double layer capacitors (EDLCs) or ultracapacitors, are electrochemical capacitors that have an unusually high energy density when compared to common capacitors. They bridge the gap between batteries, which offer high energy densities but are slow, and “conventional” electrolytic capacitors, which are fast but have low energy densities. An international team of researchers are reporting the development of a mirco-supercapacitor with remarkable properties that has the potential to power mobile electronics, wireless sensor networks, biomedical implants, RFID tags and embedded microsensors, among other devices.  Read More

Tiny flakes of lithium manganese phosphate can serve as electrodes for batteries (Image: D...

Rechargeable lithium ion batteries are used in everything from mobile phones to cars. Most of the batteries available today are designed with an oxide of metal such as cobalt, nickel, or manganese, which adds to their cost. Researchers looking for lower-priced alternatives to existing lithium ion-metal oxide batteries have discovered that a little wax and soap can help build electrodes and will allow battery developers to explore lower-priced alternatives to the lithium ion-metal oxide batteries currently on the market.  Read More

The RaceAbout, at last weekend's Finals stage of the Automotive X PRIZE

The purpose of the Automotive X PRIZE is to stimulate development of real-world, practical environmentally-friendly vehicles and the resulting designs make for a wildly varied collection. Of the 12 vehicles currently left in the competition, some look like they rolled straight out of Blade Runner while others – like the RaceAbout – would hardly raise an eyebrow in today's car showrooms. But despite its mainstream looks, this thing definitely makes a strong visual – and technological – statement.  Read More

MIT researchers have made an important step toward producing a lithium-ion battery that de...

Researchers at MIT have found that using specially treated thin layers of carbon nanotubes in batteries can boost the amount of power delivered per unit of weight by up to ten times. While the technology still needs improving, its full development and large-scale employment would certainly revolutionize the way we use any electronic devices, from an iPod to an electric car.  Read More

Microsoft InstaLoad lets you insert batteries in any direction

For batteries to work, they need to go in the right way. It's one of those fundamental rules that we all pick up from an early age, but Microsoft has just announced an innovation that turns all that on its head – literally. Known as "InstaLoad" battery installation, the technology allows you to insert a battery without having to worry about positive and negative polarity. That's idiot-proofing of the highest order!  Read More

Jump your way to better health and recharge your batteries at the same time with the E Rop...

When reporting on the BunBun human-powered flashlight back in March, Gizmag's Rick Martin mused on the potential for putting a similar charging mechanism into skipping rope handles... which is just what Kyung Guk Lee has done with this design concept. The e-rope lets you recharge your AA batteries while you skip your way to better health.  Read More

Members of Purdue University's hydrothermolysis research team (Prof. Varma at left)

Fuel cell cars have come one step closer to practicality with researchers from Indiana’s Purdue University announcing a new process for the generation and storage of hydrogen. The process is called hydrothermolysis, and is a combination of hydrolysis and thermolysis – the two prevalent methods of hydrogen generation that some scientists consider impractical for use in automobiles. The new process utilizes powdered ammonia borane, a chemical that has one of the highest hydrogen yields of any solid substance.  Read More

A battery-switchable elevtric taxi at the entrance to a battery switch station

By now must of us are aware of the benefits of electric vehicles (EVs). They’re better for the environment, they’re quiet, they have less moving parts and are therefore more reliable and cheaper to operate and maintain than their combustion-powered counterparts. But it’s obviously not all upside or EVs would be the rule on our roads rather than the exception. One of the major hurdles holding EVs back is the time it takes for them to recharge their batteries. One solution is swapping a dead battery for a fully charged one. That’s just what a project in Tokyo is doing with the launch the world’s first switchable-battery electric taxi.  Read More

A schematic of a silicon-carbon nanocomposite granule that could help boost the performanc...

The current crop of battery technology seems unable to keep up with the increasing demands we are placing on our ever-growing collection of mobile devices. Which is why research into next generation battery technology is such a focus around the world. A new high-performance anode structure based on silicon-carbon composite materials could significantly improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries used in our portable electronics and gaining widespread use in electric and hybrid vehicles.  Read More

The Nano Lithium X Battery from EcoloCap

A performance evaluation undertaken by Exponent Inc has revealed that EcoloCap’s Nano Lithium X Battery offers over 98 percent efficiency and has "the world’s highest energy density output per mass". Outperforming company expectations, the battery was also found to have the "fastest recharge time of any comparable commercial battery" together with the "lowest cost per energy output".  Read More

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