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Extreme Batteries

Chemical engineers have found a way to make rechargeable batteries with extreme capacity, potentially powering electrical cars to run more than 300 km before needing a recharge.

The research, published in Nature Communications, demonstrates an innovative way to make the material within the electrodes of a lithium–sulfur battery, the most popular type of rechargeable battery for portable electronics. The material produced is a high surface area porous carbon, spherical or hollow in shape with a controllable size, that can improve the diffusion and transportation of lithium ions in a battery to improve its performance, capacity and life.

“The benefit of our technology will potentially transform renewable, emission-free electrical devices and vehicles across the globe,”  said team leader Dr Jian Liu of Curtin University. “Its success could place Australia at the forefront of the emerging energy industry.”

Liu said the carbon spheres developed in the work could also be used in other applications such as absorbents for water treatment or as drug or gene delivery vehicles.