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Researchers invented water-based batteries that store more energy than lithium-ion

Published May 26th, 2024 9:02AM EDT
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Image: KanawatTH / Adobe

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Chinese scientists have created a new type of water-based battery that is more efficient at storing energy than standard lithium-ion batteries. The new battery type is also supposedly safer than lithium-ion based batteries, the researchers claim.

The team shared their findings on the new battery type in a study published in Nature Energy in late April. One of the most important discoveries surrounding the new batteries is that they are much more energy-dense.

The energy density of a battery ties directly into how much energy it can hold in relation to its size and weight. Lithium-ion batteries are very good at holding energy and are considered very high in energy density. That’s why they have become our primary battery type. However, these new water-based batteries are even better at holding energy than standard batteries.

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Water-based batteries would be much safer than traditional lithium-ion batteries like those seen above. Image source: EBL/Amazon

Normally, water batteries like this are much safer due to their lower energy density, as they have a narrower voltage window in which they can operate. However, by adding bromide to the electrolyte solution used in their water battery, the researchers have greatly increased the energy it can hold without removing any of the safety that these batteries offer.

This new electrolyte bundle has drastically improved the energy density of the water-based battery, making it able to hold up to double the energy that a normally configured water battery would. It does this by using the bromide ions in the redox reactions that these kinds of batteries normally utilize.

The research team hopes that making water-based batteries more efficient and able to compete with lithium-ion batteries will increase the adoption rate of this tech, especially since it is much safer than typical batteries. We’ve seen other advancements in batteries, too, with California even looking to start using water batteries in 2022.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.