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Korean breakthrough points to quick-charge Li-ion batteries

updated 01:59 am EDT, Thu August 16, 2012

Charging efficiencies in larger batteries increased hundredfold

South Korean scientists claim to have found a way to greatly reduce electric car charging times from hours to minutes. The researchers have altered the geometry and physics of a lithium-ion battery to allow the cell to charge evenly throughout the battery, rather than charging from the terminals inward during a standard reduction-oxidation reaction on larger lithium-ion batteries.

The researchers formulated the battery with reactants in a solution containing graphite, which was later carbonized to form a "dense network of conductors throughout the electrodes of the battery." Essentially, the manufacturing process generates a larger amount of smaller anode/cathode groups with a short distance of electrolyte between each pair rather than a dense, multilayered structure. The resultant battery changes don't alter the energy density of the cell, but do alter the physics and timing of the charging reaction.

"The research is especially remarkable in that it overcame limitations of existing lithium-ion batteries," said professor Cho Jae-phil at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology. "We will further move closer to developing a new secondary battery for electric cars that can be fully recharged in less than a minute." Refinement of the research is expected to take another decade before the new manufacturing techniques can be adopted and utilized in a cost-effective manner.

The advance is slated for use in larger battery cells, such as those found in electric cars. Utility of the new manufacturing technique is limited somewhat in smaller batteries with less reactant, such as those found in portable electronics. The research paper with the breakthrough was published earlier this month in the international chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie. [via The Register]

by MacNN Staff



  1. Hash

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 04-21-01

    A rare example of innovation from Korea. And even that was probably stolen from Japan.

  1. Wingsy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-14-05

    All I needed to read was the headline. It's another "battery breakthrough" article among hundreds over the years, and not a single battery breakthrough has ever come to pass. Battery technology proceeds at a snail's pace.

    I'll believe it when I can buy one.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    That's not quite true.

    Batteries have come a *long* way in the last ten years.

    You just don't notice because the package doesn't change.

    The current iPhone packs maybe quadruple the horsepower of the original one into a package that's slimmer, lighter, and has substantially better battery life. That's not JUST a matter of component efficiency.

  1. brainiac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-04-03

    No, this is another instance of the Koreans stealing Apple intellectual property. First comes Li-ion batteries and the next thing you know they will have Mountain Li-ion batteries.

  1. nitnasc

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-16-12

    Who did Apple steal it from?


    Professional Poster

    Joined: 02-23-00

    The Beatles.

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