Batteries. What would we do without them? Video game consoles, laptops, cameras, clocks, and electric cars would not exist without batteries. Over the years, batteries have become more efficient, smaller, and integral to devices we use on a daily basis.
Three Types of Batteries
Though there are many more types of batteries, we will discuss three: Nickel Cadmium, Nickel Metal Hydride, and Lithium Ion.
This type of battery was patented in 1899 by Waldemar Junger and has very good current conducting properties, is long-lasting, and can be recharged pretty quickly. Nickel Cadmium batteries are commonly used in laptops, drills, camcorders, and other small battery-operated devices.
Nickel Metal Hydride
This type of battery was first produced in 1989 and has “two to three times greater charge capacity and up to 40 percent longer service life than standard nickel-cadmium batteries,” according to Techopedia. Nickel Metal Hydride batteries are used to power laptops, cellphones, camcorders and other electronic devices.
Lithium ion batteries are much lighter than other types of rechargeable batteries and are also used in portable electronics. One disadvantage is that they are more expensive than other types of batteries and typically last only two to three years from the manufacture date, regardless of whether they have been used or not.
Researchers from The Ohio State University have developed a more reliable potassium-oxygen battery that can potentially improve “energy storage on the nation’s power grid and [offer] longer-lasting batteries [for] cell phones and laptops” reports ScienceDaily. Potassium-oxygen batteries were first invented in 2013, but because they are not cost-effective when recharging — only lasting five to 10 cycles until degradation — they have not been widely used for energy storage.
The team of researchers observed that the battery’s degradation was being caused by oxygen seeping into the anode. The newly-developed potassium-oxygen battery uses multiple fibrous carbon layers to control how much oxygen is delivered to the battery and keep oxygen from seeping into the anode. The result is a potassium-oxygen battery that has 12 times the longevity of previous models.
Though it will be quite some time until this type of battery will be made available for consumers, we’re excited by the advancements that are being made in the electrical field towards more sustainable and clean energy.