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The Revolutionary Tech Shaking Up the Future: Next Era of Power

The Revolutionary Tech Shaking Up the Future: Next Era of Power

Researchers from Edith Cowan University have developed a new zinc-air battery that could compete with lithium-ion batteries in terms of energy storage. Zinc batteries are cheaper, safer, and less vulnerable to overheating or catching fire than lithium-ion batteries.

The team at ECU improved the battery design by combining different chemical structures and applying them in layers. This improved the battery’s performance and allowed it to efficiently supply 1.48 volts, similar to an AA or AAA battery.

Zinc-air batteries can store around 500 watt-hours per kilogram, nearly three times more than lithium-ion batteries and 10 times greater than lead-acid batteries. However, because air is not a good conductor, zinc-air batteries may not be able to power larger devices.

Australia is well-placed to produce zinc-air batteries as it produces 20% of the world’s zinc supply and is also the world’s largest lithium producer. By developing zinc-air batteries, Australia could ease global demand for lithium, which is a finite resource.

Manufacturers can link multiple battery cells to provide more voltage to devices, similar to existing batteries. Although zinc is unlikely to completely replace lithium in batteries, it could be a viable alternative and contribute to a more sustainable future.

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Akash Osta