Five-fold increase in battery capacity from six year old firm
The Santa Ana based startup nano-tech firm QuantumSphere Inc said today it has filed for a patent on a technology that can increase the capacity of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries as much as fivefold.
Laptops with a single charge could last up to 12 hours, rather than the few hours a charge gets now. Electric vehicles are limited only by current battery technology.
Their work has applications beyond batteries, in other renewable energy production or storage technologies such as hydrogen electrolysis and solar technologies. They recently began producing a high purity copper- indium- gallium alloy for application in low cost thin film solar cell production.
Their focus is on making nano metals for green energy applications. QuantumSphere has manufactured a number of metal and metal alloy nanoparticles including iron, silver, copper, nickel, cobalt and manganese.
Nano metals present a clear opportunity to provide more energy and power density in zinc-air and lithium ion batteries when used as catalysts. Catalyst materials are the main ingredients facilitating chemical reactions within the battery and play a key role at setting the energy and power densities of these devices.
This video shows evidence of the much greater catalytic activity in their nano aluminum, compared with the inert aluminum on the right which would not catch light at all. In this case you would need a lot less nano material than the micron sized particles to do the same work.
Their nano metals are achieving phenomenal results: recently they published data showing that using their nano materials as the catalyst in the zinc air battery resulted in a 320% increase in power density. Compared to the metal particles used as catalysts today, nanoscale materials have 2000% greater surface area, which greatly increases reactivity, catalysis, energy density and power density. As a result, much more power can be stored in a lithium ion battery without the potential for the overheating and runaway chemical reactions plaguing this technology today.
GM, which says it is working on a battery with 3 times the capacity of current batteries, and today is hunting for a talented battery expert on staff, surely will find today's news of interest.