This, from MIT, the prestigious US university, might be very big news: “New research by engineers at MIT and elsewhere could lead to batteries that can pack more power per pound and last longer, based on the long-sought goal of using pure lithium metal as one of the battery’s two electrodes, the anode.“
The article adds that “The new electrode concept comes from the laboratory of Ju Li, the Battelle Energy Alliance Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering and professor of materials science and engineering. It is described today in the journal Nature, in a paper co-authored by Yuming Chen and Ziqiang Wang at MIT, along with 11 others at MIT and in Hong Kong, Florida, and Texas … [and] … The design is part of a concept for developing safe all-solid-state batteries, dispensing with the liquid or polymer gel usually used as the electrolyte material between the battery’s two electrodes. An electrolyte allows lithium ions to travel back and forth during the charging and discharging cycles of the battery, and an all-solid version could be safer than liquid electrolytes, which have high volatilility and have been the source of explosions in lithium batteries.“
This matters a lot because “The new system could lead to safe anodes that weigh only a quarter as much as their conventional counterparts in lithium-ion batteries, for the same amount of storage capacity. If combined with new concepts for lightweight versions of the other electrode, the cathode, this work could lead to substantial reductions in the overall weight of lithium-ion batteries. For example, the team hopes it could lead to cellphones that could be charged just once every three days, without making the phones any heavier or bulkier.” The other beneficiaries will run the gamut from soldiers who must carry radios and other electronic devices, each with a heavy battery, to electric cars and trucks. The battery (size and weight) is often the main limiting factor in the design of many systems from trucks to wristwatches. A smaller, lighter battery may make a lot of things possible, including, for example, the UK’s pledge to phase out new gasoline and diesel-fueled autos by 2035.
Oh, and by the way, look at the names and locations in the second paragraph … do you still think that globalization and immigration are harmful?