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The University of Sydney develops zinc-air batteries that store five times the amount of lithium-ion batteries used in cell phones Mar 06, 2018

According to well-known international media reports, chemical engineering researchers at Sydney University in Australia and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have developed a rechargeable zinc-air battery, which may replace lithium-ion batteries in future, for use in smart phones and other electronic devices.


Related research reports have been published in the leading international academic journal "Advanced Materials" (Advanced Materials). The first author of the study, Professor Yuan Chen, said that in the past, zinc-air batteries often needed to be used with expensive metal catalysts such as platinum and iridium oxide. Therefore, such a battery is only applied to a small number of electronic devices, such as hearing aids and railway signaling systems.


Now, new technologies are starting to use high-performance, low-cost catalysts. These catalysts are made from metal oxides such as iron, cobalt and nickel.


"Our approach generates a lot of high-performance and low-cost catalysts," said Professor Chen, Department of Engineering Science, University of Sydney. "We are working on some basic science and technology issues and hope to develop sustainable metal-air batteries for our society "

Zinc-air battery is a kind of metal-air battery, which generates electricity by oxidation of zinc in the air. As the metal zinc resource storage is very rich in the world, so the production cost of this battery is lower than the lithium-ion battery. Lithium-ion batteries are now one of the most common rechargeable batteries in electronic devices.


Zinc-air batteries store five times more lithium-ion batteries and are safer and greener.

Lithium-ion batteries are lightweight and power-efficient, making them the default battery for electric cars in companies such as smartphones and Tesla. They contain pressurized, flammable materials. Once the internal short circuit, it will have very serious consequences.


Lithium-ion battery proved to be the culprit in the explosion of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone last year.


Samsung later found after investigation that its cell phone battery suppliers Samsung SDI and ATL lithium-ion battery are flawed, this defect can lead to internal short circuit, causing an explosion fire.


Other rechargeable metal air cells also include the use of magnesium and graphene.