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Candle soot could power electric car batteries: Indian researchers

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Hyderabad, Oct 8 Burning a candle could be all that it takes to make an inexpensive but powerful electric car battery, researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology in Hyderabad have found.

The research revealed that candle soot could be used to power the kind of lithium-ion battery that is used in plug-in hybrid electric cars.

“We are very excited about the results. This new approach is very easy and the costs involved are minimal — it would make battery production cheaper,” said Chandra Sharma, one of the study authors.

Sharma estimated that one hybrid car would need ten kg of carbon soot, which would be deposited in about an hour using candles.

Their discovery opens up the possibilities of using carbon in more powerful batteries, driving down the cost of portable power.

Lithium-ion batteries power many devices, from smartphones and digital cameras all the way up to cars and even aircraft.

The batteries work by having two electrically-charged materials suspended in a liquid to produce a current.

Carbon is used as one of those materials in smaller batteries, but for bigger, more powerful batteries — such as those used in electric cars — carbon is not suitable because of its structure, which cannot produce the required current density.

In the new study, Sharma and Manohar Kakunuri found that because of the shape and configuration of the tiny carbon nanoparticles, the carbon in candle soot is suitable for use in bigger batteries.

What is more, because the soot could be produced quickly and easily, it is a scalable approach to making batteries.

When a candle burns, it gives off clouds of black soot made of carbon.

The researchers looked at the soot collected from the tip of a candle flame and from the middle of the flame and compared the size, shape and structure of the carbon.

The results showed that the burning process forms nanoparticles of carbon that are 30-40 nanometres across and are joined together in an interconnected network.

They also found that the soot recovered from the tip of a candle flame, which burns at 1400 degrees Celsius, has fewer impurities like wax, making it perform better as an electrical conductor.

In tests, the researchers found the soot effective as a conducting material in a battery.

The researchers now plan to develop a candle soot battery to test the technology further.

The findings appeared in the journal Electrochimica Acta.

(IANS)

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Huawei Releases Industry’s First Patented Lithium-Silicon Battery

The handset maker's ultra-fast charging battery is the result of material innovation and fully compatible with the existing battery solutions.

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Aiming to achieve a breakthrough in battery life, Huawei Consumer Business Group on Monday unveiled the industry’s first patented lithium-silicon battery that promises to greatly improve fast-charging capability and ensures safety.

This patented technology is an iteration of the battery that is likely to be used in upcoming Huawei smartphones, the company said in a statement.

The silicon anodes in the Lithium-Silicon battery hold more power than graphite-based versions, thus making the battery more durable and increasing its power-retention capacity.

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(Representational Image)

“Just like how multi-touch technology changed the way displays work, Huawei’s ultra-fast charging technologies will redefine the way people use smartphones and free users from nomophobia — the fear of having no access to phones,” said the company.

The new batteries are coated with a 3D nitrogen-doped carbon network and this coating can be synthesised at a relatively lower temperature and has high conductivity, resulting in ultra-fast charging.

Unlike traditional fast-charging solutions, ultra-fast technology employs a relatively low-voltage and high-current formula that aims to maximize the amount of current going into the device while minimizing efficiency losses, heat as well as throttling.

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“This innovation is based on electrochemical kinetics advancements, which enable ultra-fast charging batteries to support greater power efficiency and current input. Leveraging the nitrogen-doped carbon frame, Huawei improved the stability intercalation and deintercalation of lithium,” the company added.

Also Read: TECNO Mobile Unveils Its First Flagship Smartphone In India

The handset maker’s ultra-fast charging battery is the result of material innovation and fully compatible with the existing battery solutions. (IANS)